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In July 2021, STAT and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology set out to answer a simple question with big implications for the use of AI in medicine: How do popular algorithms used to warn of bad outcomes for patients hold up over time?

The months-long experiment, born of a novel partnership in journalism and science, yielded an illuminating result: the algorithms deteriorated over several years, delivering faulty advice about which patients were at the highest risk of deadly complications and prolonged hospital stays.

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