Promoting Equity in Medical AI: Cedars-Sinai's New Center Aims to Eliminate Bias and Disparities

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Promoting Equity in Medical AI: Cedars-Sinai's New Center Aims to Eliminate Bias and Disparities
Cedars-Sinai

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Cedars-Sinai, the West Hollywood-based healthcare system founded over 120 years ago, recently established the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Education to explore the benefits and pitfalls of using AI in medicine.


The center was created and announced earlier this month. It is co-directed by Dr. Tiffani Bright and Dr. Jason Moore, who also leads Cedars’ Department of Computational Biomedicine. Bright and Moore told dot.LA the center serves many goals, including recruiting new faculty with AI expertise, creating various AI models for the hospital system, and educating the medical community about the use of AI.

“What we’ve noticed in the medical field is that these algorithms are often developed and implemented and they aren't evaluated from the perspective of the harm that they're doing,” Bright said. “So they're widening disparities, and so you notice that they're helping patients who are white, but harming patients or black.”

Research into how medical algorithms are developed is one key way to ensure that an AI model is fair before it’s deployed and given the chance to cause harm. Evaluating who made the model, and how diverse their sources and data sets are, is, according to Bright, important to avoiding technical and social bias.

“I am very much encouraged at what is happening here [at Cedars-Sinai],” Bright added, noting that she’s worked at numerous other healthcare companies that do not put as much emphasis on AI training and equity.

Moore said the plan is to create a number of AI models that can be used across Cedars-Sinai’s various divisions of medical care. “Cedars is implementing and evaluating AI algorithms for healthcare across all of its different clinical areas and specialties, but what was really missing was fundamental new research on AI algorithms,” Moore told dot.LA. “That's really what the goal of this center is, to carry out AI research, develop new algorithms and new software tailored to biomedical and clinical problems.”

Another goal of the center is to “train the next generation in the interface of AI in healthcare,” particularly by reaching out to high school and college students nationwide, said Moore.

To do so, Cedars-Sinai is working with Hispanic and Latino students from the Cal State University system to prove to them that “it is a viable career path forward, because we desperately need more diversity in the AI area,” Moore added.

Part of this educational outreach to students includes developing a user-friendly AI called Aliro Ed to help them familiarize themselves with how machine learning works at a basic level, Moore said. “All they have to do is load some data, push a button, and they're doing machine learning,” he added. “It’s a way to build their confidence that, hey, this is something I can do, this is something that I can put my hands on and use today without any formal training in computer science or statistics.”

Cedars-Sinai is also developing a curriculum for a doctorate degree in artificial health intelligence. Moore is helping create that program, and said he expects it to launch in 2025.

Last fall, Cedars was awarded an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how AI could be used to analyze genetic data to predetermine risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The algorithms will be used to analyze different data sets at once, including genetic and genomic data as well as imaging to predict and evaluate risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Moore said that the trust of human doctors at Cedars-Sinai and other medical outlets is key, noting, “a big part of AI in healthcare is explainability; we have to be able to explain it to a clinician to a doctor and they have to be able to trust the algorithm, they have to know that it's fair and unbiased… that trust is really important before they make a decision that it is something we should use to treat patients.”

While there’s a vested interest in developing AI for use at Cedars-Sinai, both Moore and Bright said that they don’t see the technology replacing the human touch in healthcare. “I like to think of AI as another person in the room,” Moore said.

Bright shared his sentiment, adding that it’s important to develop AI with transparent parameters, so that scientists and doctors can understand and trust the AI's methods for recommending care.

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🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

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Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

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Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

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A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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