AI ETHICS: A BIG ISSUE FOR THE NEXT DECADE
Will we ever know enough about artificial intelligence and its long-term effects to be able to make ethics in AI work effectively? Patrick Smith, chief technology officer for EMEA at Pure Storage discusses
Artificial Intelligence is a game changer. It has the power to cut through mass amounts of data and be a real force for positive change. Already we’re witnessing artificial intelligence power initiatives to find cures for diseases, predict crop shortages or improve business productivity. However, whilst there are positive associations, we cannot ignore the concerns.
Biased data, deep fake videos, and electoral misuse are just some of the terms that are as (if not more so) pertinent when discussing artificial intelligence.
Every industrial revolution brings societal concerns with it, and the age of data is no different. In the new decade and beyond, effective use of data and minimising bias with artificial intelligence will become reputational currency for brands.
Just as ethical behaviour improves perceptions of businesses, those paying the most attention to ethical data management will be viewed more favourably.
However, the issue is complex and multifaceted – with many areas of ambiguity that could be stopping businesses from acting.
The very public backlash against Google, the fear of getting it wrong, and underlying issues & unfairness in society could make many hesitant to act.
That said, much like climate change, if left unchecked, we risk only realising the impact of unethical and biased artificial intelligence when it has reached a tipping point beyond possible intervention. Therefore immediate action must be taken not just by companies, but by governments, regulators and individuals. Some immediate actions include:
• More mainstream media attention given to the issue, creating greater transparency for the public • Consideration for, and implications of artificial intelligence issues to be introduced into the education system • Greater public education and awareness of the role individuals can play in safeguarding their own data • Creation of an environment where companies are not afraid to try something, and course correct if needed • Ethics panels that truly reflect a diverse society
Will we ever know enough about artificial intelligence and its long-term effects to be able to make ethics in artificial intelligence work effectively? This issue is so complex and ever changing that it’s irresponsible to say we’ll ever have a definitive answer.
Regardless, organisations and governments need to act now to do what they can to ensure the right motions are put into place.
Will it be easy? No, but this isn’t just a policy change - it extends far beyond that. These conversations need to happen now before the nightmare scenario comes true and we lose control of artificial intelligence.
Patrick Smith, chief technology officer EMEA, Pure Storage.