The AI economy needs ethics to succeed

Tuesday, 04 September, 2018

The AI economy needs ethics to succeed

Businesses and society at large can leverage AI-powered technologies in an ethical, trustworthy and sustainable way, if the right approach is adopted.

That’s the conclusion reached in a new position paper, ‘Building a Competitive, Ethical AI Economy’ (PDF), which outlines actionable insights for defining the ethical principles that should guide AI development.

The paper was produced by Sage, a cloud business management solutions company.

“The danger of overhyping and objectifying AI is that we don’t realise the valuable opportunity that presents itself. Fundamental to this will be addressing the ethical issues posed by AI, head on,” said Kriti Sharma, VP of Artificial Intelligence at Sage.

“As an established business embracing this technology, we think that it is our responsibility to do that with our peers, for our customers and society as a whole.”

According to Sharma, it is self-evident that businesses can make huge productivity gains by embracing AI.

“But we need industry and government to help clear a way through the ethical issues and move the global conversation forward,” added Sharma.

Sharma said that ethical AI implementation has gained new urgency as global consumer concerns have peaked regarding the transparency of data collection and usage.

According to Sharma, industry’s next challenge will be to move the global conversation away from AI as a threat — or replacement — for humans and towards encouraging organisations to approach AI as a complement to human ingenuity.

That process should begin with executive boards and business leaders defining ethical principles that guide AI development within specific departments, companies, industries and markets, she said.

Pictured: Kriti Sharma. Courtesy Sage.

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