AI Ethics Driving better business and a more equitable society

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on May 24, 2022

Experts Doubt Ethical AI Design Will Be Broadly Adopted as the Norm Within the Next Decade | Pew Research Center

As AI technology advances past its limitations in new real-world applications, regulators, investors, and the general public are questioning what type of relationship we want with AI and how to ensure its safe usage. As a result, companies and institutions are incorporating AI ethics into existing business practices. But a new report from IBM suggests there’s still a lot of work to do.

Surprisingly, just 40% of surveyed customers believe businesses would be responsible and ethical in their use of new technology such as AI. Their concern may be justified, given fewer than 20% of CEOs strongly think that business policies and actions on AI ethics are consistent with their organizations’ declared principles and values.

According to research undertaken by the IBM Institute for Business Value, the task of adopting an AI ethical strategy has moved significantly from technical experts to CEOs.

AI is increasingly recognized as a cross-industry, multi-stakeholder project. It is more than just an IT issue. HR, procurement, and legal are all on board as well. AI has developed to be business-led, requiring the most senior levels to manage its appropriate management.

A growing AI ethical framework promotes social justice, equity, and trust

As AI reaches more organizations, ensuring the trust and transparency of these systems will become essential to their success. Through predictive justice, the study of large amounts of data to create predictions on case outcomes, AI technology in the courts can have even more far-reaching consequences on individuals and institutions.

One of the best examples of this is the system of justice in New Jersey, where algorithms analyze millions of case files to minimize bail decision prejudice. The system not only saved USD 10 million, but it also resulted in a 40% decrease in the jail population with no discernible rise in the crime rate. The system works because people trust the data and the suggestions it produces.

AI ethics are important for maintaining democracy. And, according to IBM’s research, it’s also beneficial for business. According to an IBM study, businesses that place a higher priority on AI ethics enjoy higher levels of trust from customers and workers.

How IBM operationalizes trustworthy AI

IBM has always maintained the position that AI should be advanced responsibly in a way that ensures ethical principles are at the center of the technology. This effort began in 2015, when world-renowned AI ethics researcher Francesca Rossi joined IBM, bringing 40 colleagues with her to help IBM embrace AI ethics as a core business tenet. To operationalize AI, IBM established trust and transparency principles and established an AI Ethics Board to review all AI efforts across the company. It now assures that IBM-owned technology follows five principles: openness, explainability, fairness, robustness, and privacy. A 2021 World Economic Forum case study details the company’s pioneering leadership.

Put AI ethics into action

AI restrictions are coming. And less than a quarter of responding organizations have put AI ethics into action. The good news is that 79% of business leaders are now ready to include AI ethics into their AI processes. According to the research, this is up from 20% in 2018, with moreover half now publicly endorsing common AI ethics standards.

Getting to the finish line needs a very well plan, which begins by bringing together a broad collection of stakeholders. Then, create an organizational and AI lifecycle governance framework. Finally, provide interoperability so that all ecosystem partners may participate. The sooner corporations get started, the more global individuals will be able to reap the benefits of AI.


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