Current Issues

Racist soap dispensers and other tales of health measurement bias

In early-2022, UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, put the topics of selection, sample and measurement bias in life and health insurance under the microscope by announcing an investigation into a potential bias in oximeters. Specifically, whether bias was a contributing factor to worse outcomes for ethnic minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. While, on the face of it, this is an isolated incident, it is actually more commonplace than you may think.


Actuarial proactivity must counter COVID pandemic fatigue

In this opinion piece, Brent Walker reflects on his long experience in health insurance and how individual lifestyle decisions influence healthcare utilisation. Brent compares these past lessons to what we have learned in the two years since the earliest known cases of COVID-19 emerged. The recently emerging Omicron variant reinforces the need for actuaries to continue to progress the thinking on how their clients should respond to this apparently endemic virus.

Let’s stop talking about “risks of AI bias”, and instead start deciding what we want the world to look like

I have been part of several panel discussions on artificial intelligence (AI), data and tech ethics in recent months. Each time, usually about halfway through, the following sort of question is posed: “What do you think we should do to manage the risks of AI bias?”. This short essay is a more considered answer than my usual ‘top of mind’ response to this question.