Five questions to ask yourself about ethical AI

Five questions to ask yourself about ethical AI

With AI technology moving at a rapid pace, we should ask ourselves a few questions pre-adoption.

For example, how we should use it, and what its impact will be. Essentially, looking at it through an ethical lens.

Let’s take a look at five of the most important questions...

Can AI be considered the best fit for the job?

With technology changing so fast, it can often be unreliable, so we all need to do our due diligence in terms of weighing up the options as to whether AI is indeed the best fit for our needs.

Any shortcomings, for example data limitations, have to be viewed against what the benefits are to customers, stakeholders and society more generally, with that being the main driver as to whether AI is rolled out within an organisation.

It’s true that, if implemented correctly, AI will help companies achieve breakthroughs where there would have previously been road blocks. Overly long response times should become a thing of the past, and humans will be freed up to deliver advice on the more complex issues.

As long as there are tangible benefits and the technology is used correctly and fit for purpose, then working alongside AI should continue. We do have to bear in mind, at all times, the societal impact , however.

Is the data biased?

It’s already been said many times, but AI is only as good as the data behind it.

For example, in order to alleviate bias in AI, a diverse team should be employed to address it, or else a company runs the risk of excluding certain members of society.

Glitches in data mean people get unfairly treated, such as the time when a system was trained to recognise all male CVs, thus excluding any female applicants.

How will it integrate with society?

The 64,000 dollar question.

Moving too fast in order to appear ahead of the game isn’t necessarily the best solution. One has to maintain a fine balance between evolving as an organisation and making errors purely based on ‘wanting to be first.’

We must remember that AI is still in the early stages of its development, so clearly there is a deeper understanding that’s required, as well as general improvement of the technology moving forward.

AI is gaining traction in all industries – including public services, government, healthcare, education and charities. The opportunity to reduce costs, enhance quality and free up staff time is beneficial to all. AI isn’t supposed to be a service to replace staff, but to help them deliver services better and quicker.

Will it benefit stakeholders?

AI used correctly can certainly help, but it must have customers’ best interests at heart. Consistently striving for a better understanding of the technology is key. As it evolves and develops, so the best companies will do the same, working in harmony with the technology, rather than it being seen as a threat.

How do we comply with regulation?

AI technology does bring with it some uncertainty at present, so a key consideration is the regulatory environment. Humans need to be accountable from the outset when making decisions on the use of AI powered solutions.

Being mindful of the regulations is key, as well as maintaining a level of fluidity around them in order to develop in line with the growth of an application. Applications which must be tested over its lifespan rather than on a one-off occasion. All data must be ethically sourced and GDPR-compliant, and its successful use will be reliant mainly on trust, so as to pacify any fear amongst society.