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Message posted on 01/02/2023

CfA: AI-based decision support systems for medicine and healthcare: Negotiations in development and practice / STS Graz

                Dear list members,

as the organizers of the annual STS conference in Graz extended the deadline
for the submission of abstracts, we want to draw attention to the CfA for our
sesssion about "AI-based decision support systems for medicine and healthcare:
Negotiations in development and practice", number B.12. We invite everyone to
submit an abstract until 6th of February:

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging and contested topic in biomedical
research and healthcare (Topol 2019, Gianfrancesco et al. 2018, Garvin 2019).
Particularly decision support systems (DSSs) are increasingly developed and
introduced into the field of healthcare, with different ontological and
epistemological consequences (e.g., van Baalen et al. 2021). AI-based DSSs are
intended to support healthcare professionals in making medical decisions,
assumedly providing recommendations ranging from diagnosis and treatment to
aftercare, including medical fields such as lung cancer, cardiovascular
diseases, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or HIV (Baumgartner 2021,
Wiggert 2021). Thus, covering many relevant fields of healthcare, DSSs are
associated with a number of different expectations of the actors involved 
from medical professionals, patients, but also engineers and bioinformaticians
(Winter and Carusi 2022). Next to those high expectations, questions arise
regarding the influence of a DSS on reasoning, work routines, organizational
structures, knowledge production, use of data and general status of medical
experts arise.

Those concerns are part of social processes of negotiation between the actors
involved. They can take various shapes: For example, they can be argued out
verbally, become manifest through unequal social relations of power between
the involved actors or inscribed into the respective DSS. Therefore, this
panel aims to look at the manifold processes of negotiation taking place
throughout development, implementation, and practical use of AI-based DSSs.
Against this background, we would like to raise discussions based (not only)
on the following questions:

  *   Who is part of the development, implementation and/or application
processes and how are they involved? Which negotiations and conflicts happen
in the respective social arenas? How do power dynamics in the field change
through the DSS?
  *   Which negotiations occur around data? How does the (type of) data
influence the development of or practices with the tool, the results of the
DSS, the conceptualization of the problem to be solved, etc.?
  *   (How) are patients or medical professionals represented and (re)framed
through the DSS? How is their potentially new role negotiated?
  *   Different types of knowledge may be transferred into the tool and
represented by it. (How) Are these new types of knowledge production through
the DSS negotiated? How do they change the fields, their ontologies and
  *   Who is perceived as the user? Who is the (actual) user (e.g., doctors,
nurses, others)?
  *   How do clinical DSSs influence the social worlds where they are used in?
How does the area where a DSS is applied in affect the tool? Which conflicts
  *   What is the social function of the DSS in the field? What other
functions exist for different stakeholders beside the ones claimed by the

We are looking forward to submissions and an interesting panel!

Renate Baumgartner and Kevin Wiggert

Kevin Wiggert, M.A.

Department of Sociology of Technology and Innovation
Technische Universitt Berlin
Fraunhoferstr. 33-36
10587 Berlin
+49 (0) 30 314 70730
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