The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) is starting to be used in almost every aspect of our daily life. Whether or not you are aware of it, a lot of the technologies that you use on a regular basis already have AI integrated into them. Artificial intelligence is utilized whenever a streaming service like Netflix or a search engine like Google suggests that you book a trip online from the same airport that you often fly from. Let’s learn more about the ethics regarding AI technology.
In point of fact, ninety-one percent of organizations operating in the modern era wish to make an investment in AI. In spite of the fact that AI may seem incredibly technical, even on par with the level of science fiction, it is, in the end, merely a tool. And just like any other tool, it has the potential to be utilized for either good or evil. As a result, it is essential to make certain that an ethical framework is in place for the appropriate application of AI as it takes on jobs that are progressively more complex.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the primary concerns regarding ethics in AI, look at some examples of ethical AI, and, most importantly, discuss how to guarantee that ethics are honored when utilizing AI in a professional setting.
What exactly are the ethics of AI?
The term “AI ethics” refers to a set of moral standards that are intended to direct and influence the creation and usage of technologies that utilize artificial intelligence. Because AI can perform tasks that would ordinarily need human intelligence, it is just as important for it to have ethical principles as it is for humans to make decisions. In the absence of ethical AI legislation, there is a significant risk that this technology may be used to perpetuate unethical behavior.
The fields of banking, healthcare, travel, customer service, social media, and transportation are just few of the many businesses that make extensive use of artificial intelligence. Because it is becoming increasingly useful in such a wide variety of business sectors, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has far-reaching ramifications for every area of the world and, as a result, needs to be controlled through ethics.
Now, of course, different levels of governance are necessary depending on the sector and the environment in which AI is implemented. These requirements can be found here. It seems doubtful that a robot vacuum cleaner that uses artificial intelligence to assess the floor layout of a home will significantly alter the world unless it is guided by an ethical framework. If ethical criteria are not enforced, a self-driving car that needs to recognize pedestrians or an algorithm that predicts what type of person is most likely to be approved for a loan can and will have a dramatic impact on society. Both of these examples include artificial intelligence.
You may ensure that your business is headed in the correct direction toward employing artificial intelligence (AI) if you determine the key ethics problems of AI, reference examples of ethical AI, and think about best practices for using AI in an ethical manner.
What are the primary ethics concerns raised by artificial intelligence?
As was said before, the primary ethical considerations are highly variable depending on the sector, the setting, and the possible severity of the impact. However, AI prejudice, fears that AI could replace human occupations, privacy problems, and the use of AI to deceive or manipulate people are generally considered to be the most significant ethical challenges pertaining to artificial intelligence. Let’s examine each of these points in greater depth.
Disparities in AI
It is important not to forget that people are responsible for programming and training AI to execute the tasks that it is now performing, even as AI takes on more complex duties and does the heavy lifting. And people are prone to holding preconceptions. For instance, if mostly white male data scientists collect data on predominantly white males, then the AI that these data scientists create may reflect the prejudices of the data scientists themselves.
However, this is not even close to being the most common source of bias in AI. The presence of bias in the data that is used to train AI models is more likely to be observed than not. For instance, the data that was collected is inherently skewed if it was only gathered from the statistical majority of the population.
Recent study conducted at Georgia Tech on the subject of object detection in autonomous vehicles serves as a compelling illustration of this point. It was discovered that those with dark skin were struck approximately 5 percentage points more frequently as pedestrians than people with fair skin. They discovered that the data set that was used to train the AI model was likely the root cause of the unfairness. The data collection had almost 3.5 times as many examples of persons with lighter complexion, which allowed the AI algorithm to recognize them better. When it comes to something as potentially dangerous as self-driving cars hitting people, that seemingly insignificant change may have had fatal repercussions.
On the bright side, one of the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models is that the data set they are trained on can be altered, and if sufficient effort is put in, they can become relatively impartial. This is a major advantage. On the other hand, it is not possible to allow people make decisions that are totally objective on a wide scale.
The elimination of occupations by AI
Nearly every technological advance in the annals of human history has been accused of displacing workers, although this has never been proven to be the case. Despite appearances, artificial intelligence will not soon be able to replace humans or the tasks they do.
When automatic teller machines (ATMs) were first introduced in the 1970s, many people feared that this would lead to a widespread loss of jobs in the banking industry. The reality was quite different from what was expected. As a result of the decreased number of cashiers needed to run a bank branch, financial institutions were able to expand the number of branches they had and the number of cashier employment available overall. And they were able to do it at a lower cost because automated teller machines handled the mundane, day-to-day activities, such as processing check deposits and cash withdrawals.
This is mirrored in the developments that are currently taking place with AI and the applications that it has. An illustration of this would be the very first time that AI was able to comprehend and imitate human speech. People started freaking out when chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) started taking the role of real customer support representatives. The truth of the matter is that automation that is powered by AI can be tremendously helpful, but it is quite improbable that AI will ever completely replace people.
AI-powered chatbots and interactive voice assistants (IVAs) can handle simple and repetitive requests, and they can even understand questions asked in natural language by utilizing natural language processing to provide answers that are helpful and contextual. This is analogous to how automated teller machines (ATMs) took care of mundane tasks that didn’t require human intervention.
However, the queries that are the most difficult to answer still need to be handled by a human agent. Although automation driven by AI may have certain inherent limitations, its potential impact is enormous. Chatbots are able to handle up to 80 percent of basic activities and consumer enquiries, and AI-powered virtual agents can lower the cost of providing customer service by as much as 30 percent.
The most likely scenario for the development of artificial intelligence in the future involves humans and bots that are powered by AI working together, with the bots taking care of the straightforward responsibilities and humans concentrating on the more intricate issues.
The use of AI and privacy
The invasion of one’s privacy is probably the ethical issue in AI that has the most merit. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights acknowledges privacy as an essential component of human dignity; nonetheless, the use of certain types of AI software may constitute a serious risk to individuals’ right to privacy. The collection of personally identifiable information has been made simpler by developments in technology such as surveillance cameras, smartphones, and the internet. Privacy is put at danger if there is a lack of transparency on the part of businesses regarding the reasons for data collection and the methods used to store it.
Consider the contentious nature of such technologies as facial recognition, for instance. One of the reasons for this is the manner in which the technology recognizes and stores the photos. One of the applications of artificial intelligence that many people consider unethical is the monitoring of individuals without their explicit agreement. In point of fact, the European Commission has prohibited the use of facial recognition technology in public areas until sufficient ethical controls can be implemented.
The fact that people are generally prepared to part with some of their personal information in exchange for some level of customisation presents a difficulty for the creation of ethical privacy standards surrounding AI. There is a sound rationale behind the fact that this is currently a major trend in both marketing and customer service.
Some instances of this include supermarket or medicine businesses that provide customers with coupons based on their previous purchases, as well as travel companies that provide customers with bargains based on their location.
Using this personal data, AI can provide consumers with timely and customised content that meets their needs. Nevertheless, in the absence of appropriate data sanitization methods, there is a possibility that these details will be processed, sold to third-party businesses, and put to use in ways that were not intended.
For instance, the now-famous Cambridge Analytica controversy concerned the political consulting business that worked for the Trump campaign and which sold the private data of tens of millions of Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica was responsible for selling the data. These third-party businesses are also more susceptible to cyberattacks and data breaches, which means that your private information may fall into even more inappropriate hands if it is compromised by either of these threats.
AI is an excellent answer for data protection, which is somewhat ironic given its capabilities. AI-powered programs have the ability to detect dangerous infections or patterns that frequently lead to security breaches thanks to the self-learning capabilities of AI. This indicates that firms that apply AI will be able to proactively detect efforts at data breaches or other sorts of attacks on data security before information can be taken.
Deception and subterfuge through the use of AI
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to spread false information is yet another significant ethical concern. Because machine learning models can readily generate content that contains factual errors, it is possible to make false news items or fake summaries in a matter of seconds and distribute them using the same channels that are used to distribute real news pieces.
This point is effectively driven home by the extent to which social media had a role in the dissemination of false news during the election of 2016, which put Facebook in the spotlight of ethical AI. According to the findings of a study that was published in 2017 by experts from NYU and Stanford, the most popular fake news items on Facebook were shared more frequently than the most popular mainstream news stories. The fact that this false information was allowed to propagate without Facebook’s oversight, which has the ability to alter the results of something as significant as a presidential election, is quite upsetting.
Additionally, AI is able to generate fabricated audio recordings, in addition to synthetic photos and videos, in which a person’s likeness is digitally substituted for another in an already existing image or video. These deceptive similarities, often known as “deepfakes,” have the ability to sway people’s opinions very easily.
We have seen that humans are not always capable of determining what is real and what is not, and this can be due to a lack of skill or a lack of will on the part of the individual. When AI is used in this way to intentionally deceive, it places the burden of determining what is real or not on the individual.
So these were some depictions in AI Ethics. We hope you enjoyed, since it’s a very serious matter. Read our other articles to find out about other fields of technological knowledge.