Incident 225: IBM Watson for Oncology Criticized by Customers for Allegedly Unsafe and Inaccurate Cancer Treatment Recommendations

Description: Internal documents from IBM Watson Health showed negative assessments from customers such as Florida’s Jupiter Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering criticizing its Watson for Oncology product for allegedly unsafe and incorrect cancer treatment recommendations.


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Alleged: IBM Watson Health developed an AI system deployed by Jupiter Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering, which harmed oncologists and cancer patients.

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Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

Report: IBM Watson delivered ‘unsafe and inaccurate’ cancer recommendations · 2018

Internal documents from IBM Watson Health (NYSE:IBM) indicate that the company’s Watson for Oncology product often returns “multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations,” according to a new report from STAT News.

The …

IBM's Watson supercomputer recommended 'unsafe and incorrect' cancer treatments, internal documents show · 2018

Internal IBM documents show that its Watson supercomputer often spit out erroneous cancer treatment advice and that company medical specialists and customers identified “multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations” a…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.