Bioethics Symposium

AI, Ethics, and Health Care

The 15th annual Bioethics Symposium will be held in-person on Thursday, April 11 from 1-5 p.m. in Health Sciences Learning Center Room 1325. (In-person only event.)

Registration not required — see you on April 11!

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Attend and receive continuing ed credit

Bioethics Symposium graphic

This year's topic is AI, Ethics, and Health Care

Artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm — including the world of health care. Many have touted AI’s promise for improving diagnosis, clinical judgment, and patient care. At the same time, the growing presence of AI in health care raises formidable ethical challenges. Algorithmic bias can exacerbate inequities. AI in the clinic can erode trust between patients and clinicians. And accountability can be undermined when opaque algorithms replace human deliberation.

This year’s Bioethics Symposium will examine these and other AI-related concerns. The goal is a broad roadmap for using health-centered AI in ways that are equitable, empathetic, and empowering. The event will be recorded.


  • 1 p.m. — Welcome remarks from Dean Robert N. Golden, MD
  • 1:10 p.m. — Introduction by Karola Kreitmair, PhD
  • 1:20 p.m. — Talk and Q&A with Majid Afshar, MD, MS: Fair and Equitable Use of Large Language Models: Approaches in Prompt Engineering
  • 1:55 p.m. — Talk and Q&A with Nicol Turner-Lee, PhD: The importance of inclusive training data in AI applications for diverse populations
  • 2:30 p.m. — Talk and Q&A with Alex John London, PhD: Mind the Gap: Structural Challenges to Safe and Effective AI in Health Care
  • 3:05 p.m. — Break
  • 3:20 p.m. — Talk and Q&A with Eran Tal, PhD: Accurate and Fair Machine Learning for Healthcare: Challenges and Prospects
  • 3:55 p.m. — Talk and Q&A with Karola Kreitmair, PhD: The Importance of Recognition in Clinician-Patient Interactions
  • 4:30 p.m. — Panel discussion with speakers moderated by Paul Kelleher, PhD, associate professor of medical history and bioethics
  • 4:55 p.m. — Closing remarks

Read speaker bios

Accreditation Statement

Accreditation statement logoIn support of improving patient care, the University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

More information on CE for this event

Speaker information

Majid AfsharMajid Afshar, MD, MS

Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Fair and Equitable Use of Large Language Models: Approaches in Prompt Engineering

Majid Afshar is a physician-scientist and is the Director of UW-Madison’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Learning Health System in the School of Medicine and Public Health. He has helped to build a program supported by both the university and health system to perform data-driven, bedside evaluation of interventions to improve healthcare delivery. Dr. Afshar is also a board-certified clinical informaticist and critical care physician and leads a data science laboratory dedicated to the prevention and early identification of diseases with a focus on clinical translational natural language processing. Dr. Afshar and colleagues have built an infrastructure to perform predictive analytics using artificial intelligence with electronic health record data for screening and diagnosis of diseases in critically ill patients. He has hosted several national data challenges to advance science in diagnostic decision support and is an appointed member of the Center for Scientific Review at the NIH. He practices clinically as an intensive care doctor and has multiple NIH grants to implement and study AI models in the health system and examine the effectiveness of real-time AI for clinical decision support, including bias and fairness metrics.

Nicol Turner-LeeNicol Turner-Lee, PhD

Senior Fellow – Governance Studies & Director – Center for Technology Innovation
The Brookings Institution

The importance of inclusive training data in AI applications for diverse populations

Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of the TechTank blog and podcast at the Brookings Institution, which is a global think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. Dr. Turner-Lee’s research encompasses equitable access to technology across the U.S. and abroad. Her portfolio also includes leading Brookings institutional research and public policy work focused on the identification and mitigation of online biases in artificial intelligence systems. She has a forthcoming book on the U.S. digital divide titled Digitally Invisible: How the Internet is Creating the New Underclass (forthcoming 2024, Brookings Press). She has appeared throughout various news media, testified before Congress and international global governance bodies, and written extensively on tech and telecom issues. In 2022, she was recognized for distinguished career contributions by the American Sociological Association at the annual conference. She has her B.A. from Colgate University, and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University

Alex LondonAlex John London, PhD

K&L Gates Professor of Ethics and Computational Technologies
Carnegie Mellon University

Mind the Gap: Structural Challenges to Safe and Effective AI in Health Care

Alex John London is the K&L Gates Professor of Ethics and Computational Technologies, co-lead of the K&L Gates Initiative in Ethics and Computational Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, Director of the Center for Ethics and Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and Chief Ethicist at the Block Center for Technology and Society at Carnegie Mellon University. An elected Fellow of the Hastings Center, Professor London’s work focuses on ethical and policy issues surrounding the development and deployment of novel technologies in medicine, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. His book, For the Common Good: Philosophical Foundations of Research Ethics was published in 2021. His papers have appeared in Mind, The Philosopher’s Imprint, Science, JAMA, The Lancet, The BMJ, PLoS Medicine, Statistics In Medicine, The Hastings Center Report, and numerous other journals and collections. He is also co-editor of Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, one of the most widely used textbooks in medical ethics.

Eran TalEran Tal, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy & Canada Research Chair
McGill University

Accurate and Fair Machine Learning for Healthcare: Challenges and Prospects

Eran Tal is Canada Research Chair in Data Ethics and Associate Professor of Philosophy at McGill University. His work deals with the epistemic and ethical dimensions of data collection, data analysis, and data use in the sciences. He has contributed to the philosophy of measurement, an area within philosophy of science that deals with the concepts and problems involved in designing and operating measurement procedures. His current research projects concern the nature and application of quantity concepts, the conceptual foundations of psychometrics, and the ethical and social implications of big data and machine learning algorithms in healthcare.

Karola KreitmairKarola Kreitmair, PhD, MSc

Assistant Professor of Medicine History and Bioethics
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

The Importance of Recognition in Clinician-Patient Interactions

Karola Kreitmair is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical History and Bioethics and an Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She received her PhD in philosophy from Stanford University, where she also trained as a clinical ethicist. Her research interests include topics in clinical ethics, research ethics, and neuroethics. Recent scholarly work focuses on questions around consciousness and moral status, and ethical issues arising from digital behavioral technology. Prof. Kreitmair is Vice-Chair of the UW Hospital Ethics Committee and Co-Director of the SMPH Path of Distinction in Bioethics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as a member of several groups tasked with developing protocols for rationing resources in the context of COVID-induced scarcity.

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Accessibility statement: 
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is committed to accessibility. If you need an accommodation to attend or participate in this event, please contact the SMPH signature events team at We ask that accommodation requests be made no less than two weeks before an event. We will make a thorough attempt to fulfill requests made after this date but cannot guarantee they will be met.

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