AI and robotics are tipped to reach a market value of $153 billion by the end of 2020 as new adopters find ways of making the concept to work for them. While few can deny that this technology carries immense potential, the question of AI ethics remains open.
AI brings so many benefits to businesses across a range of different sectors. Consider its uses within cyber security in the identification of potential threats, or within healthcare and its ability to measure blood counts within seconds; a life-saving advancement.
Predictive analytics is an easy entry for lots of enterprises, whose ability to look beyond the present and into the future has aided their decision-making to a huge extent. The concept has enhanced the practice of risk management, too, with technology and data forecasting the conditions that lead to reduced productivity among other events.
As for the customer, their use of virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana suggests that intelligent apps, using AI to interact with real people, could make it a whole lot easier for businesses to engage with their audiences.
A barrier to seamless integration of AI into our society could be the responsible use of it.
At face value, actions of companies like Foxconn, a supplier to Samsung and Apple, and its decision to replace 60,000 staff with robots have only supported worries that the future brings unwanted ramifications. That said, with Gartner believing the 1.8 million jobs removed by AI will be offset by the creation of 2.3 million new ones, it’s clear that not every organisation will be making these sorts of cuts.
Keeping things in the workplace, there is the question of responsibility over decisions made by AI. Analysts have pointed to a human-first approach as a way of ensuring that everything is controlled and can be accounted for.
Data protection is another key consideration at present and also when talking about future adoption of AI. For example, a system could base itself on one set of information and apply the same rules in tackling another, requiring its developer to go in search of the necessary consent.
Lastly, the increased role of AI will create a natural demand for improved measures of cybersecurity, with vulnerable systems representing a target for criminals. There is even talk of AI being used by cyber criminals for malicious activity; something which couldn’t be further from responsible innovation. On the flipside, AI can be used to support cyber security operations in tasks like threat modelling and risk assessment, where some of its more positive implications come to light.
As AI prepares itself for a big few years, its adopters and developers will have to look closely into the ways it can ensure a smooth transition into the mainstream.
Companies like Google have already positioned AI ethics boards to oversee their own development of products, and it’s been positive to see whole governments declare the interest in leading from a moral perspective.
Measures like a human-first approach represent big steps when thinking about AI’s impact on the workplace. In all, though, a great deal of the responsibility will revolve around the architects of AI solutions, as they possess the keys to an ethical AI journey.
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