AI & Intelligence Augmentation

The Importance of Keeping Your AI Ethical

One of 2019’s greatest challenges will be balancing technology with morality.

Source: kentoh / shutterstock

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably read about issues with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the news. As technology continues to grow and be refined, companies are having a harder and harder time making sure that they’re staying in ethical boundaries. Why should this be a concern for your business in the new year?

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that the foundation of any relationship between a business and the public. Whether it’s your employees or your customers, if people trust your business, you’ll have more wiggle room to make inevitable mistakes. But AI can harm the trust your network has in you if it isn’t wielded properly.

How do businesses break trust with their customers through the use of AI? Most of this comes in through not being truthful. If your company doesn’t tell the truth about things like whether or not webinars are live, whether your chatbot pretends to be a real person, or whether or not your company is holding onto data. Now, customers probably aren’t opposed to pre-recorded webinars, chatbots, or even some data being stored! But they’re definitely opposed to being deceived. Transparency is key when it comes to AI.

How to businesses break trust with their staff through the use of AI? Mostly, through issues of employment. As machines are able to do more, some companies see their staffs shrinking. For as long as humans have been on earth, we’ve been finding ways for machines to do work, but as technology advances, those machines are now able to do jobs that aren’t routine or basic. This is leaving more people out of work. While it’s important for companies to keep up with technology, invest in AI, and try to bring their companies into the future in a low-cost manner, the key again comes back to transparency. Be open with your team about what technology you’re trying out. Provide opportunities for your team members to be trained in new technologies so that they’re part of the process. Keep a holistic view instead of one that’s only focused on the lowest costs possible. If you go the other route and slash staff sizes mercilessly, it’s going to be back to bite you later on, one way or another.

 

AI isn’t something to be afraid of. By keeping transparency, honesty, and morality at the forefront of your mind, it’s possible to utilize AI within your company without losing the trust of those around you.