WHO: Harnessing generative AI to benefit public health


World Health Day this year was under the theme “Our health, our rights”. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces the launch of SARAH, a prototype digital health promotion agent with enhanced empathetic response capabilities and powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI).

SARAH (the acronym for Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health) is an assistant that intelligently uses AI resources in the field of health. It represents an evolution from AI-powered health information avatars as it uses new language models and cutting-edge technology. She can chat with users 24 hours a day in 8 different languages ​​on several health-related topics, from any device.

The WHO Digital Health Promotion Agent is trained to provide information on key health topics, including good habits and mental health, to help people move forward on their path to health and well-being. The objective is to provide an additional tool allowing people around the world to exercise their right to health.

SARAH – also known as Sarah – can help people better understand the risk factors associated with some of the world’s leading causes of death, including cancer, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. Thanks to SARAH, everyone has the opportunity to access up-to-date information on smoking cessation, physical activity, healthy eating and relaxation, among others.

“The future of health is digital, and helping countries harness the potential of digital technologies for health is one of WHO’s priorities,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “SARAH gives us insight into how artificial intelligence could be used in the future to improve access to health information through interactivity. I call on the research community to help us continue to explore the ways in which this technology could reduce inequities and allow everyone to obtain reliable and up-to-date health information. »

SARAH is now powered by generative AI rather than a predefined algorithm or script, enabling it to provide more accurate responses in real-time, maintain dynamic, personalized conversations at scale that more closely mimics human interactions, as well as providing nuanced and empathetic responses to users in a judgment-free environment. Its technology is based on the biological AI of Soul Machines (in English).

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