Experts say AI must augment, not replace
THE FAST-growing development of artificial intelligence (AI) should be used to augment – not replace – human capability and opportunity.
This was the view of experts at a session on AI at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the accompanying technological innovations and advancement, it was stressed that AI development be guided by the overarching principle that technology should not replace human capability, but rather support it.
Experts further agreed that technology and access to technology should be democratised and said it was essential to provide people with the relevant knowledge and skills to lay the groundwork for a more egalitarian and sustainable era of cognitive computing.
Ginni Rometty, the chairman, president and chief executive at IBM Corporation in the US, said transparency was imperative to develop trust in cognitive computing.
Soon, everyone will work with AI technologies and people will want to know how they were designed, by which experts and using which data.
“Humans need to remain in control of it,” Rometty said, adding that it was imperative that technology be created for, by and with the people.
Panellists agreed that ethical and legal concerns must be factored in at the start of the design process, underlining the importance for customers, lawyers, ethicists, scientists and technology developers to work together.
Highlighting the need to democratise the design of technology, Joichi Ito, the Media Lab director at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it was worrying that Silicon Valley consisted of mostly white men.
He gave the example of a face-recognition technology that failed to recognise dark faces, reflecting a lack of diversity among the engineers who designed it.
“AI is still a bespoke art; the customer cannot imagine the tool yet,” he said, suggesting that stakeholders, including the customer, the lawyer and the ethicist, have a say in technology creation.