Biden Administration Officials Withdraw from Industry Body Setting AI Safety Standards in Healthcare

Officials from the Biden administration, Micky Tripathi and Troy Tazbaz, have withdrawn from an industry body responsible for establishing safety standards and frameworks for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) models in healthcare. Tripathi, the national coordinator for health information technology and acting chief AI officer at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Tazbaz, the director of Digital Health Center of Excellence at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), served as nonvoting members on the board of the Collaborative Health Innovation and AI (CHAI) organization.

The decision to step down came just four months after their appointment, as confirmed by CHAI to STAT. Tripathi, in a statement provided through the national coordinator’s press office, explained that his multiple roles within HHS could potentially lead to conflicts of interest, prompting the decision to withdraw. Tripathi is also leading HHS’ AI task force, which was established as part of a broader initiative.

The FDA did not respond to STAT’s request for comment regarding Tazbaz’s departure from CHAI.

This development raises questions about the future direction of AI regulation in the healthcare sector. Tripathi and Tazbaz were expected to collaborate with industry representatives to establish new guidelines and safeguards for the responsible use of AI in healthcare. Their withdrawal from CHAI may impact the progress of these efforts.

It remains to be seen how the Biden administration will address the need for AI safety standards in healthcare going forward. The decision to withdraw from CHAI suggests that Tripathi and Tazbaz recognized potential conflicts of interest in their roles and opted to prioritize transparency and ethical considerations.

As the field of AI continues to advance, ensuring the responsible and ethical implementation of AI models in healthcare remains a critical concern. The withdrawal of these officials from CHAI highlights the challenges faced in navigating the intersection of government, industry, and technology in shaping AI policies and standards.