AI Ethics, Human Flourishing, and Trust in Health Care

Jun 26, 2024
Back to Events

Thomas PfauDuke University

Michael J. PencinaDuke Health

Matthew ElmoreDuke AI Health

Norman WirzbaDuke Divinity School

How are our imaginations deepened when the humanities and the sciences enter into a conversation? Join us for a lecture and panel discussion among scholars, including theologians, ethicists, and data scientists. This event is co-sponsored by Duke Health, Fons Vitae at Duke Divinity, and the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago. The evening is inspired by themes and topics related to Fons Vitae’s Summer 2024 Seminar “Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Catholic Thought.”

Lecture at 5:15 pm CT / 6:15 pm ET

Panel discussion at 6 pm CT / 7 pm ET

Thomas Pfau is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English, with a secondary appointment in the Divinity School at Duke University. He has published some fifty essays on literary, philosophical, and theological subjects ranging from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century. In addition to two translations of Hölderlin and Schelling, he has edited seven essay collections and special journal issues and is the author of four monographs: Wordsworth’s ProfessionRomantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, Melancholy, 1790–1840Minding the Modern: Intellectual Traditions, Human Agency, and Responsible Knowledge; and Incomprehensible Certainty: Metaphysics and Hermeneutics of the Image. He is in the early stages of a new book project focused on the relationship between poetry and theology from 1800 to the present.

Michael J. Pencina is Duke Health's chief data scientist and serves as vice dean for data science, director of Duke AI Health, and professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Duke University School of Medicine. His work bridges fields of data science, health care, and AI, and contributes to Duke’s national leadership in trustworthy health AI. Dr. Pencina partners with leaders to develop data science strategies for Duke Health that span and connect academic research and clinical care. He co-founded and co-leads the national Coalition for Health AI (CHAI), a multi-stakeholder effort whose mission is to develop “guidelines and guardrails” to drive high-quality health care by promoting adoption of credible, fair and transparent health AI systems. He serves in a leadership capacity for the Trustworthy & Responsible AI Network (TRAIN), a new organization Duke co-founded with leading health care and technology organizations to develop tools and technologies that increase the safety, quality, and trustworthiness of artificial intelligence for patient care and research. Dr. Pencina is an internationally recognized authority in the evaluation of AI algorithms. Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics acknowledges him as one of the world’s “highly cited researchers” in clinical medicine and social sciences, with over 400 publications cited 120,000 times.

Matthew Elmore is the AI Ethics and Evaluation Specialist at Duke AI Health. Dr. Elmore supports operations focusing on the ethics, evaluation, and oversight of AI-driven clinical decision tools. He plays a major role in organizing work with the Coalition for Health AI (CHAI), as well as conducting research, writing, training, and consulting. Dr. Elmore joined Duke AI Health after completing doctoral work in bioethics at Duke Divinity School, where his project focused on the Western conception of free will and the ethics of informed consent. His background is “two-legged,” with one foot planted in the liberal arts and the other in applied health sciences. Trained as an EMT, he began his career taking care of patients in the emergency department and burn unit of his hometown hospital in Michigan. He later worked in clinical research, partnering with a cardiologist to develop robotic innovations for heart procedures. While serving in those capacities, Dr. Elmore pursued studies in philosophy, theology, and literature, all of which set up his present frame of mind at the intersection of healthcare and the humanities.

Norman Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. He lectures frequently in Canada, the United States, and Europe. As Director of Research at Duke’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, he is working with colleagues from across the university to develop multi-disciplinary teams and research programs that can address the many social and ecological dimensions of climate change. He recently completed his role as the director of a multi-year, Henry Luce-Foundation-funded projected entitled “Facing the Anthropocene.” In this project, housed at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, he worked with an international team of scholars to rethink several academic disciplines in light of challenges like climate change, food insecurity, biotechnology and genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, species extinction, and the built environment.