Published on December 11, 2023, 6:13 am

With the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, the ethical considerations surrounding their use have come to the forefront. IT leaders are now faced with the challenge of developing governance frameworks and establishing review boards to ensure that AI is used ethically and responsibly.

One of the key discussions in this area revolves around mitigating biases in AI models. When AI is trained on historical data, it can inadvertently perpetuate biases present in that data. To address this issue, organizations must take steps to ensure fairness and guard against discrimination in the use of AI. Research is underway to correct these biases using synthetic data, but a human-centric lens will always be necessary to apply ethical considerations.

Another important aspect of ethical AI is security. Given its heavy reliance on data, AI increases the risk of breaches and unauthorized access. Organizations must prioritize securing sensitive information to prevent attacks that could mislead AI models and lead to ill-informed decisions.

Transparency is also crucial for ethical AI implementation. Stakeholders need to understand how AI makes decisions and handles data. Building trust through a transparent AI framework is essential for ensuring ethical use, accountability, and maintaining trust.

In addition to these considerations, organizations should also reflect on their values and obligations regarding retraining, upskilling, and job protection. Ethical AI should aim to shape a responsible future for the workforce.

To address these challenges, experts recommend establishing an AI review board and implementing an ethical AI framework. An ethical framework provides clear guidance on monitoring and approval for every project, internal or external. An AI review board comprises technical and business experts who can ensure that ethical considerations are at the forefront of decision-making.

Several organizations have already started addressing ethical concerns around AI in their operations. Plexus Worldwide uses AI tools to identify fraudulent activities while aiming to eliminate bias by leveraging multiple sources of validated data. The organization has formed a team responsible for developing governance policies related to ethical AI usage.

The Laborer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA) has begun exploring AI in limited use cases such as document accuracy and clarification. While considering expanding AI usage, LIUNA is cautious about ethical concerns, particularly when it comes to sensitive information and potential biases in data models.

Home Credit, a global consumer finance provider, has implemented thorough ethical governance structures to ensure compliance with codes of conduct. Data privacy is a challenging consideration for the organization due to operating in multiple jurisdictions with different regulations. Home Credit believes that developing ethical structures should reflect an organization’s personal approach to ethics.

UST, a digital transformation company, has been using AI tools such as chatbots for several years. As they delve deeper into generative AI, UST leaders emphasize the importance of responsible AI and transparent decision-making processes that involve humans. They also highlight the need for protecting intellectual property and addressing biases inherent in human input.

The journey towards ethical AI requires careful planning and ongoing discussions among leaders. CIOs play a critical role in driving these conversations, dispelling myths, and executing ethical practices within their organizations. They must be prepared for difficult discussions about the boundaries of AI usage and its impact on business models.

Ultimately, the goal of ethical AI is to leverage technology for the greater good while ensuring accountability, fairness, transparency, and security. By focusing on these core principles and addressing potential challenges head-on, organizations can reap the benefits of AI while upholding ethical standards.

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