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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

«Yes, we are ready for Medical AI»

An Oxford-style debate evening

© Ursula Meisser

When: October 5, 2021 at 17.30 (Doors open at 17.00)
Where: Aula of the University of Zurich (KOL-G-201, Ramistrasse 71, 8006 Zurich)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the buzzword of the current hour. AI refers to computer systems that can perform non-physical tasks which normally require human intelligence. As these systems start to advance in their abilities to sort data, find patterns, and make predictions, AI-based systems will begin to take on expanded roles within the healthcare sector. 

Currently, AI-systems are already used in many different settings around the world for medical diagnoses, prediction and prevention, as well as to create the next generation of medicines. In an environment where patient well-being is essential and increasing quality of patient treatment indispensable, AI-based technology may provide increased efficiencies to not only patients and physicians, but also to hospitals and stakeholders at large. 

While we hope for AI to operationalize current challenges and to better streamline our experiences, we must also be aware of the dangers and ethical dilemmas that emerge from these developments. 

Will AI re-invent modern healthcare, or are we deploying such technologies with limited understanding of the risk-benefit trade-off?

Debate speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Viktor Koelzer (Senior Pathologist, UZH and University Hospital Zurich)
  • Dr. Marc Holitscher (National Technology Officer, Microsoft)
  • Min Li Marti (Member of the National Council of Switzerland and Publisher)
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Nikola Biller-Andorno (Vice Dean Innovation and Digitalization, Faculty of Medicine UZH)

Event Moderator: Jeffrey David Iqbal

Cost: Free event open to the public.

Registration closed, capacity reached the limit. 


The evening will commence with a pre-debate audience vote (for, against, or undecided), followed by three rounds of debate;

  • Round 1: Both teams provide their introductory statements
  • Round 2a: Both teams address the other team directly. 
  • Round 2b: A round of questions by the audience, submitted during registration for prior selection. There will also be opportunity to ask questions on the floor.
  • Round 3: Both teams provide their closing statements

The evening is then concluded by a post-debate audience vote to determine the winning team, based on which side had a higher rate of opinions moved.

An apéro will be offered following this interactive debate for further networking and discussions.

Please note that this is COVID-Safe event and entry will only be allowed with a valid COVID certificate (including an ID) and prior registration to the event.

This event is supported by a GRC Grant of the University of Zurich and organized by Rasita Vinay, Ekaterina Tikhomirova, Dr. Thomas Kapitza and Jeffrey David Iqbal.

For questions or concerns, please contact


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