The Care Workers’ Charity partners with Oxford University to draft guidance on the ethical use of AI in social care

In a groundbreaking collaboration, The Care Workers’ Charity, in partnership with the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford, hosted a roundtable discussion on the ethical use of AI in social care, with a focus on generative AI. The event brought together 21 care workers and university researchers, to start drafting essential guidance for the ethical and safe integration of AI in this rapidly evolving field. 

Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers Charity says “Artificial Intelligence, particularly generative AI such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini, holds significant potential to enhance various aspects of care provision. However, its implementation must be carefully considered to ensure safety and appropriateness. At present, there is a lack of official guidance on the ethical and practical use of generative AI in social care settings. To start to address this gap, we collaborated with the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford to host this roundtable exclusively for care workers. 

The event highlighted the invaluable perspectives of frontline care workers, who were rightfully recognised and compensated for their expertise. The discussion covered everything from the context in which care workers are doing their jobs to the risks and benefits of AI in supporting them in their role, to the need for clear organisational policies and inclusive and role-specific training. Importantly, participants stressed that AI should complement, not replace, the human element of caregiving. 

During the day of the roundtable, care workers and researchers began drafting guidelines to be disseminated across the care sector and this work will be ongoing. These guidelines will start to build a framework, and represent a significant step toward ensuring that AI benefits the social care sector responsibly and equitably.”