Lecture: "Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Healthcare: The Need for Diverse Perspectives"

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:15 am - 12:30 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Health care image


The explosive progress of Artificial Intelligence and deep learning systems have given rise to numerous applications in the health care space. Cancer diagnosis, drug discovery and biometric tracking are but some of the areas being tackled through second wave AI. Such applications, however, are fraught with challenging questions around patient privacy, data bias, and ethical decision-making: to what extent are engineers responsible for the behaviour of the life-and-death applications they design?

This timely panel, sponsored by Engineering Alumni Affairs and DarwinAI, will explore the importance of diverse perspectives in addressing such challenges. For example, to what extent should AI be used a collaborative tool in diagnosing critical illnesses? To what extent can a health care professional "learn" from their artificial counterpart? And, to what extent is the "black box" problem in AI a hindrance to such tasks?

Our diverse panel will explore these questions and more. Join us for what promises to be an informative and engaging event. Q&A to follow the panel discussion.

Registration is required for this free event. A pizza lunch will be provided at 11:15 a.m. for those who have registered, with the panel discussion commencing at 11:30 a.m.

Panel Speakers

Portrait of Helen Chen

Dr. Helen Chen
1998, University of Waterloo
Associate Director, Professional Practice Center in Health Systems
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Professor of Practice, School of Public Health and Health Systems
Cross-appointed in Cheriton School of Computer Science and the Department of System Design
President, Canadian Personalized Healthcare Innovation Network

Professor Helen Chen specializes in health data analytics, health systems interoperability, and mobile health. She is a founding director of the Canadian Personalized Healthcare Innovation Network. Her research focuses on developing interpretable machine learning models and explainable AI algorithms to accelerate real-world data extraction and real-world evidence generation in the healthcare and public health domain. She also co-lead the Professional Practice Centre for Health Systems at the University of Waterloo.

Portrait of Richa Mittal

Dr. Richa Mittal (MD, FRCPC)
Practicing Radiologist
, Guelph General Hospital

Richa Mittal, MD, FRCPC, is a graduate of McMaster University Medical School. She trained in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, Mt Sinai Hospital. After practicing for one year in a private clinic, she furthered her training in Diagnostic Imaging at McMaster University, graduating in 2008. She specialized in abdominal imaging with a fellowship from University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center.

Richa Mittal has been practicing as a radiologist for 10 years. She is on staff at the Guelph General Hospital in the Diagnostic Imaging department. Guelph is a very familiar place, as Richa grew up in Guelph and also pursued her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Guelph.

Portrait of Linda Wang

Linda Wang
BASc 2018; MASc candidate
, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo
Machine Learning Researcher, DarwinAI

Linda Wang is a Masters research student, supervised by Prof. Alexander Wong, in the Vision and Imaging Processing Lab at the University of Waterloo and a research intern at Darwin AI.  

Her research areas focuses on the application of computer vision and deep learning, specializing in visual perception and scene understanding, with the aim  of designing AI-driven assistive technology for those with visual impairments.  In addition to her thesis research, she is involved in medical research projects for prostate cancer detection.  Her research has been featured at both CVPR and NeurIPS.


Sheldon Fernandez 
BASc 2001
, Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo
CEO, DarwinAI

Sheldon Fernandez is the CEO of DarwinAI, a local venture commercializing IP from Professor Alexander Wong and his academic team. DarwinAI’s unique technology facilities edge and explainable AI and is being leveraged in numerous industries including autonomous vehicles, consumer electronics, and aerospace. 

Throughout his career, Sheldon has coupled his entrepreneurial endeavours with non-technical pursuits, resulting in an interdisciplinary approach that is critical to the intelligent application of AI. He received the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Engineering Young Alumni Achievement Medal for his professional and humanitarian endeavours and has substantial experience in this area, having spent time on the ground in Kenya after the country’s tumultuous election in 2007. He also obtained a Master’s degree in theology at the University of Toronto and underwent professional training at the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies at Concordia University. 

Portrait of Sheldon Fernandez