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New AI chatbot SARAH developed by WHO is providing inaccurate medical responses

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WHO’s new AI-powered chatbot SARAH is giving wrong medical answers, ET HealthWorld

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has introduced SARAH, a Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health, to provide basic health information through a human-like avatar. SARAH is available 24/7 in eight languages to educate users on topics such as mental health, tobacco use, and healthy eating, aiming to fill the gap in healthcare worker shortage.

However, WHO warns that SARAH’s responses may not always be accurate, as the AI training is not up-to-date with the latest data. SARAH, trained on OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5, lacks a diagnostic feature like WebMD and only sticks to WHO-approved information, often redirecting users to the WHO website or advising them to consult with healthcare providers.

Despite its limitations, SARAH is considered a first step in utilizing technology for public health education. WHO emphasizes that SARAH is still a work in progress, seeking input from researchers and governments to enhance its accuracy and usefulness, especially in emergency health situations.

While SARAH mimics empathy by responding to users’ facial expressions, concerns have been raised about privacy and security. SARAH accesses computer cameras to capture facial expressions momentarily, then deletes the recordings. Data collection is anonymous, and users can choose to share their questions with WHO for improvement, with safeguards in place to protect user information from cyber threats.

Looking ahead, WHO plans to continue refining SARAH and exploring ways to enhance its functionality. The use of AI in healthcare, although in its early stages, holds promising potential for expanding access to health information and support. SARAH represents a step towards leveraging technology to address global health challenges in a more innovative and engaging manner.

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