Google’s new tool will identify skin conditions — what will people do with that information?

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Image: Google

Google announced last Tuesday that it developed a new artificial intelligence tool to help people identify skin conditions. Like any other symptom-checking tool, it’ll face questions over how accurately it can perform that task. But experts say it should also be scrutinized for how it influences people’s behavior: does it make them more likely to go to the doctor? Less likely?

These types of symptom-checking tools — which usually clarify that they can’t diagnose health conditions but can give people a read on what might be wrong — have proliferated over the past decade. Some have millions of users and are valued at tens of millions of dollars. Dozens popped up over the past year to help people check to see if they might have COVID-19...

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