Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of artificial intelligence technology across all channels. According to McKinsey & Company, organizations used an average of 3.8 AI capabilities in 2022 compared to 1.9 in 2018.
It is no secret that AI is here for good, but recently, there’s been some problems. Facebook and Google are breaking news headlines for questionable decisions regarding AI ethics. Companies must proactively address AI advancements to ensure their organizations do not ultimately encounter the same challenges.
In order to take full advantage of everything AI technology has to offer, you must be careful and efficient when adding this technology to your organization’s processes. Luckily, you can do a few things to ensure a smooth and flawless transition. Here are four strategies that can pave the way for ethical implementation.
1. Establish an AI ethics advisor.
Before implementing AI technology, your company must define its values. Neglecting to do so until it becomes an issue can cause significant setbacks, as witnessed with Google’s and Facebook’s struggles.
Different departments—marketing, procurement, business analysis, etc.—means that everyone has different skill sets and knowledge. As AI becomes more integrated throughout the organization, not every employee will have a complete grasp of the ethical and legal implications. You can’t expect them to fully understand the risks associated with this technology.
To ensure you are on the right track, establish an AI ethics advisor or ethics board that focuses on adopting AI technology. An AI ethics advisor will be able to advise you not only on the adoption of AI but also on its continual expansion across various areas of your organization.
“Since this space is still nascent, they must spend significant time reading the latest research and prototyping solutions,” says Vincent Yates, chief data scientist and partner at Credera. “We are regularly finding new challenges that must be addressed, including adversarial attacks. Thus, a well-designed and run ethics board should set guidelines and principles and review how new products conform.”
2. Remain up to date on all regulations.
In addition to establishing an AI ethics advisor, it is essential to remain current on the ever-evolving regulations surrounding the use of AI. As the technology advances rapidly, laws will be enacted to address ethical concerns and protect individuals’ rights. By proactively addressing potential problems related to privacy infringement or bias algorithms through adherence to regulations, organizations can foster a positive reputation while harnessing the benefits of AI innovation. Remaining current on all the regulations ensures your organization meets all legal requirements and industry standards.
Until legal requirements and industry standards are ironed out, you must aim to be as transparent as possible. “Currently, there is no way to peer into the inner workings of an AI tool and guarantee that the system is producing accurate or fair output,” says Tsedal Neeley, Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean of faculty and research at Harvard Business School. “As a consequence, leaders should exercise careful judgment in determining when and how it’s appropriate to use AI, and they should document when and how AI is being used. That way people will know that an AI-driven decision was appraised with an appropriate level of skepticism, including its potential risks or shortcomings.”
3. Invest heavily in AI technology training.
With the rapid advancements in AI, you must stay updated on the latest developments and ensure that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively with these technologies. For this reason, investing heavily in artificial technology training is essential to approach AI adoption ethically and responsibly within your organization.
Additionally, providing ongoing training opportunities to your employees demonstrates a clear commitment to responsible AI practices within your organization. It also allows current employees to continue learning about best practices within the field of artificial intelligence and all of the latest trends. Ensuring proper AI training equips employees with all the necessary skills and knowledge while helping them better understand the available technology. It also addresses any potential fears or resistance toward its implementation.
4. Collaborate with or establish an AI consortium.
Undoubtedly, the use of AI technology will be incredibly transformative. But navigating this new technology can be incredibly difficult on your own. Instead, consider collaborating with an existing AI consortium or establishing your own.
Consortiums take responsibility for teaching businesses about responsible AI practices, informing the public about AI usage, and working with legislators to ensure fair regulations. To do this, groups of companies, researchers, and policymakers collaborate to determine how best to proceed regarding AI technology. For example, at Credera, Yates founded a global AI council to uncover potential opportunities and challenges.
Instead of waiting until AI has become a liability, take the initiative to collaborate with peers and legal experts. This assembly will help you identify concerns and create frameworks and approaches to mitigate risks and maximize adoption chances.
The integration of AI technology is reshaping industries, necessitating proactive strategies to ensure ethical and responsible adoption. You can successfully navigate this transformative landscape by establishing an AI ethics advisor, keeping up regulations, investing in AI training, and collaborating or creating an AI consortium. With these four strategies, you can harness the benefits of AI while avoiding potential pitfalls, contributing to a positive, sustainable AI-driven future.