Ethical AI can no longer be an afterthought for the enterprise; it must be built into the fabric of AI, believe experts.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) begins to play a much larger role in our daily lives, streamlining our work, resolving customer issues, talking to us as companion bots, driving autonomous cars, and helping employees make more informed and faster decisions, ethical AI can no longer an afterthought for the enterprise; it must be built into the fabric of AI.
“AI ethics” refers to the organizational constructs that reaffirms commitment to corporate values, policies, codes of ethics, and guiding principles in the age of AI. These constructs set guidelines and governance for AI throughout the organization, from research and design, to build and train, to change and operate,” says Prashanth Kaddi, Partner, Deloitte India.
Issues around ethical AI have garnered more attention over the past several years with tech giants from Facebook to Google to Microsoft and IBM have already established and published principles to demonstrate to stakeholders — customers, employees, and investors — that they understand the importance of ethical or responsible AI.
The pandemic has further proved that businesses are betting big on AI, with analyst firms forecasting AI investments to grow from $27.23 billion in 2019 to $266.92 billion by 2027. And as investments increase, the need to give the technology a “moral compass” has become more urgent.
However, there is growing evidence that AI based applications can lead to increased discrimination based on gender, class, caste, ethnicity, religion and other identity forming characteristics. As Prof. Amit Prakash, Associate Professor and Coordinator at IIIT-Bangalore observes, “This can come through an inadequate attention to the processes associated with collection of digital data used to train the AI models as well as through algorithmic biases, which get introduced when design teams are not sensitive to, or even aware of, the diversity in the implementation context.”
Ethical AI trends
Talking about the ethical AI trends in the market, in 2022, Rahul Joshi, CTO, CSS Corp notes that there will be a high demand for responsible AI solutions in the market. Responsible AI solutions offer a range of capabilities that help companies turn AI principles such as fairness and transparency into consistent practices.
“If we look at the industry today, most tech or non-tech organizations generate consumer benefits and business value by leveraging 70% to 80% AI-led operations and creating AI-infused products and applications,” says Joshi, adding that while AI can be a helpful tool to increase productivity and reduce the need for people to perform repetitive tasks, it can also give rise to a host of significant unintended (or maliciously intended) consequences for individuals, organizations, and society.
He believes, there are many cases where the algorithms cause problems by replicating the (often unconscious) biases of the developers/programmers who built them. So, it’s crucial to ensure that comprehensive datasets are used. Most organizations have bias bounties in place, and this trend will run rampant in the coming years.
“To ensure that no company is marred with data or AI ethics enrage that can impact its reputation and revenue, it’s imperative to build an ethical & responsible AI,” says Joshi.