As AI continues to develop, it is becoming more and more present in our everyday lives.
You use AI regularly without being aware of it. When you receive a recommendation from Netflix for a show you might like, or a suggestion from Google to book a trip online from the airport you usually fly from, this is the result of artificial intelligence.
Almost all businesses today want to invest in AI. AI may appear to be highly technical and almost like something out of a science fiction novel, but it is simply a tool. This means that it can be used for good deeds or bad deeds. It is important to have an ethical framework in place for the right use of AI as it takes on more sophisticated tasks.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the key concerns surrounding ethics in AI, some examples of ethical AI, and most importantly, how to ensure ethics are respected when using AI in a business context.
What are ethics in AI?
The set of moral principles known as AI ethics is designed to help researchers and developers create and use artificial intelligence technologies in a way that is respectful of human values and rights. Because AI is capable of human-like intelligence, it should be subject to moral guidelines like human decision-making. If there are no ethical regulations for AI, then it is highly likely that this technology will be used to support bad behavior.
AI is widely used in many industries, such as finance, healthcare, travel, customer service, social media, and transportation. As AI technology becomes increasingly useful in a variety of industries, it is necessary to establish regulations to manage its impact on the world.
The amount of governance required for AI depends on the industry and context in which it is used. A robot vacuum cleaner equipped with AI that can map out a home’s floor plan is not likely to cause a major impact on the world unless it adheres to a firm ethical code. If ethical guidelines are not implemented, self-driving cars that need to recognize pedestrians, or algorithms that determine what type of person is most likely to be approved for a loan, will have a profound impact on society.
To ensure that your organization is using AI ethically, you can determine the top ethical concerns of AI, consult examples of ethical AI, and consider best practices for using AI.
AI’s Ethical Concerns
AI is being used in a variety of ways to improve living standards, protect human rights, and increase productivity and efficiency. The question is whether AI technology is ethically safe when it is controlled by people who may not have good intentions. What risks must AI experts think about before developing AI systems and AI solutions for the greater good?
As Uber and Lyft test out their self-driving cars, the drivers who work for them are planning a protest. The drivers say that the companies have been mistreating them and not paying them enough. Machines and software are not only replacing manual labor, they are also competing with humans for cheaper labor costs, longer working hours, and better productivity.
In today’s job market, it is becoming increasingly important for human employees to learn new skills and be trained in different areas in order to keep up with more advanced technologies. With the ever-changing landscape of the workforce, it is essential for employees to be adaptable and prepared for innovative changes in order to land a job. Creativity and problem-solving skills are now seen as business necessities, but this does not help people whose jobs have been replaced by machines or who are being paid less than they used to be.
Bias can be defined as human beings’ “cognitive blind spots.” Examples of bias include social matters such as racism and sexism, as well as other stereotypes. It is ironic that these biases can make their way into AI algorithms, even though this may not be done on purpose. The problem with AI systems is that they are too logical and rely too much on statistics, which can sometimes result in unfair judgments or discrimination.
For example, AI tools that are used in the criminal justice system are often racist – there are many cases where a judicial AI software has judged a criminal wrongly based on the color of their skin. A recent study found that Apple Pay’s artificial intelligence system is biased against women and offers a higher credit amount to men. Even Steve Wosniak, co-founder of Apple, was upset when the company’s software decided to grant him a better credit limit than his wife, who had a better credit score.
You may have noticed that after searching for a particular item on Google, you start seeing ads for that item on Facebook. This is because Google and Facebook share your search data with each other. One might say that Facebook is spying on them, but Facebook will refuse and blame it on its dedication to bettering customer experience and customization. If every action you take is being watched and analyzed to be used for driving sales, it would be difficult to imagine anything else. Is it considered a privacy violation? What do you call someone who watches your every move, who tracks everything you look at online, who collects all of your data and keeps it as a collection, who knows your every single like and dislike, along with all your private messages, to use for commercial purposes?
When Facebook was caught selling customers’ data to other companies like Spotify and Netflix for marketing purposes in 2018, people were outraged. The scandal mentioned caused many people to be outraged, which led to Facebook’s stocks crashing and the company being forced to change its privacy settings to give users more control over how much information the app can collect about them.
Accountability and Reliability
If a self-driving car were to get into an accident, who would be held accountable? Who would be held accountable for this accident? Who believes in this technology and purchased the car? The technology in the car was implemented by the manufacturer. Who owns the brand of the car? Who is responsible for the car, the engineer or the developer? Is it possible that the AI driving the car is responsible for the accident?
When an accident happens and the car is in perfect condition, but the AI application is at fault, who is to blame? How can we make sure that AI models are never at fault, even in the slightest way?
Authenticity and Integrity
This technique, called Deepfake, uses Deep Learning and Fake technology to superimpose images, video, and audio onto others to create what people call “fake news.” This is most likely done for malicious intent. Deepfake technology uses machine learning and artificial intelligence, based on deep learning, to create potentially illegal and immoral materials. A recent example of a deepfake video is one that went viral of former U.S. president Donald Trump appearing on Russia’s version of YouTube. If the creator of an AI system has questionable intentions, then that system cannot be fully trusted to provide accurate and honest news.
The software that powers AI cannot tell the difference between right and wrong or true and false. This can lead to problems with authenticity and integrity. One would think that machines are objective and unbiased, but that is not the case. AI-based decisions are often inaccurate and can be biased, especially if the person creating the AI has control over the data it uses. This means that data used to influence an AI system’s decision should be checked for accuracy, variety, authenticity, and morality.
Sympathy and Empathy
Can AI have emotions? The most important part of AI is that it is designed to act and think like humans. However, it only stops at mimicking. The current forms of AI cannot portray or possess the emotions that humans experience. If you have watched the movie Her (2013), it is about a man called Theodore who develops a relationship with Samatha, his artificially intelligent virtual assistant. Samantha does not truly love Theodore in the ways that humans do. She is only able to fake it and does not actually care about his feelings.
Complex emotions cannot be accurately represented through code or algorithms. Even humans often don’t understand their own emotions. This means that AI cannot understand or share the emotions of humans, which might result in making decisions that would not take human emotions into account. Essentially, AI machines are perceived as psychopaths who are restricted by algorithms and always have to act a certain way that is programmed into them, without being able to express dissent.
We are building AI systems and machines that have the potential to take over humans. What if Skynet actually happens? We can’t fight self-upgrading machines because they can access and analyze unlimited information at high speed and they are better than us at games.
The point in time known as the Technological Singularity is one where technology becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, making changes to the world we live in that are unforeseen and unpredicted. This could result in an “intelligence explosion” where the existence of an Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) system can endanger the human race.
How to use AI ethically
What are some ways to mitigate risk when implementing AI as a solution in your organization? Some best practices for using AI ethically in a business context include:
-Avoid using AI in a way that could be harmful to people
-Be transparent about how you are using AI
-Make sure you have a way to monitor the effects of AI
-Don’t use AI to make decisions that could have a negative impact on people’s lives
Education and awareness around AI ethics
Educate yourself and your peers about the capabilities and limitations of AI technology. Instead of frightening people with the potential for unethical AI use or pretending the issue doesn’t exist, it’s better to ensure that everyone understands the risks and knows how to reduce them.
Your organization must adhere to a set of ethical guidelines. Check in regularly to ensure that AI ethics goals are being met and that processes are being followed.
Take a human-first approach to AI
Taking a human-first approach means controlling bias. First, make sure your data isn’t biased (like the self-driving car example mentioned above). Second, make it inclusive. In the United States, male software programmers make up approximately 64 percent of the population, while 62 percent are white.
This means that the people who develop the algorithms that shape the way society works do not necessarily have the same backgrounds or experiences as the people who are affected by those algorithms. An inclusive approach to hiring and expanding diversity among teams working on AI technology can help ensure that AI reflects the world it was created for.
Prioritizing transparency and security in all AI use cases
If AI is used for data collection or storage, it is important to explain to users or customers how their data will be stored, what it will be used for, and the benefits they will gain from sharing it. Maintaining transparency is key to gaining your customers’ trust. Adhering to an ethical AI framework can be seen as creating positive sentiment for your business, rather than restrictive regulation.
AI gets better with the right ethics
AI has become a powerful tool that is integrated into your everyday life. Many of the services and devices you use every day are powered by AI, making your life easier and more efficient. It is possible to use AI for malicious purposes, but most companies have ethical standards that prevent them from doing so.
As long as best practices are followed, AI can improve nearly every industry, from healthcare to education. The creators of AI models need to think about ethics and how their creations can help society.
If you think of AI as a way of replicating human intelligence on a larger scale, it doesn’t seem so daunting. It is easy to see how the right ethical framework will change the world for the better.
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