The ‘hottest new role in corporate America’ comes to health systems

By Giles Bruce for Becker’s Hospital Review

Despite fears that artificial intelligence would kill jobs, the technology has helped create the “hottest new role in corporate America”: the chief AI officer, The New York Times reported Jan. 29.

A variety of industries, including healthcare, have been appointing AI chiefs to keep up with new developments in the technology, such as generative AI and large language models, according to the story. Scottsdale-based Mayo Clinic in Arizona named its first chief AI officer, Bhavik Patel, MD, in September.

“It helps to have a coordinating function with the depth of expertise,” Richard Gray, MD, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Arizona, told the newspaper. “We’re really trying to foster some of these data and AI capabilities throughout every department, every division, every work group.”

In 2023, 122 chiefs or vice presidents of AI joined a forum on company review site Glassdoor, compared to 19 the year prior, The Times reported. However, a 2023 Harvard Business Review article contended that chief AI officers are “set up for failure” because of the risks of the new technology, while LinkedIn’s chief economist told the newspaper that AI-specific job titles will eventually go away because the technology will become so ubiquitous.

Other health systems that have recently hired AI leaders include UC San Diego Health and Sacramento, Calif.-based UC Davis Health.

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