By Nikhil Sonawane - May 18, 2023 7 Mins Read
As AI scales, the size of their neural networks, energy consumption, data set volumes, and prevalence of the technology has increased in society, making policymakers and industry veterans raise multiple ethical questions.
Industry veterans and governments globally are concerned about the potential risks of AI and suggest banning or enforcing ethical restrictions on AI to minimize the risk. The recent news of Geoffrey Hinton, popularly known as “The God Father of AI,” quit Google because he wanted to speak freely about the threats of AI without impacting Google’s reputation. Various reports highlight his wider concerns about AI development and its potential risk.
Additionally, recently Elon Musk and other artificial intelligence industry veterans called for a six-month halt in building systems more robust than OpenAI’s newly launched GPT-4.
“ChatGPT and AI have created a buzz in the news; recently, OpenAI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sam Altman was asked questions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a hearing in the US Senate. This comes right after the ‘Godfather of AI’ Google’s Geoffrey Hinton, taking to the press to share his regret about devoting his career to AI. The use of AI isn’t new, so what’s causing this flurry of fear? Innovation in AI is moving so rapidly that regulation has been unable to keep up. But recently, it seems like a shift has occurred. Now, key figures in the AI space are being forced to confront the security and privacy risks associated with this fast-growing technology,” says Waseem Ali, CEO of Rockborne.
While tech industry veterans are concerned about AI and its potential risk, it raises the question of whether a ban on AI is required or whether businesses need to put ethical restrictions on AI.
Increasing conversations about AI and its ethics have led policymakers to define policies to regulate the AI industry to minimize potential risks.
Recently the President of the United States, Joe Biden, interacted with CEOs of artificial intelligence enterprises, including Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Alphabet’s Google’s Sundar Pichai, on AI risks. During the interaction of Biden with AI CEOs at the White House, they discussed the responsible behavior of enterprises and potential threats posed by AI.
“Innovation almost always moves faster than regulation. However, because of the sheer scale of this tech, it seems to have triggered a tripwire where leaders are beginning to shout from the rooftops about the risks involved,” adds Waseem.
Despite the tremendous benefits that AI offers businesses, it is crucial to consider all the potential risks that this technology can expose. Here are a few potential AI risks:
As potential AI risks are in the limelight, many industry veterans are not worried about the technology surpassing human intelligence, known as “super-intelligence,” anytime soon. Super-intelligence can outperform smart human brains in all fields, such as scientific creativity, general intelligence, and social skills.
Even though robust AI and super-intelligence are not an imminent threat, use for developing autonomous systems can be disastrous. Automating industrial robots or self-driving cars raises ethical debates as AI becomes more robust.
“The dizzying scale of development is almost too big to fathom, deciding where to begin an overwhelming prospect that can paralyze regulation. So rather than getting caught up in the fear rhetoric, we need to prioritize speaking to one another, open up easy lines of communication and invite collaboration between industry leaders,” adds Waseem.
Most users restrict themselves from adopting AI, fearing that they might lose their jobs. However, this concern may be unfounded because the market will witness a paradigm shift in job roles as every new technology scales.
Businesses must purview artificial intelligence as a paradigm shift in jobs to make operations more efficient and streamlined. Organizations will require more resources to help them manage robust AI systems.
Moreover, businesses must make changes daily to ensure smooth operations in the growing data sphere. Organizations will still require resources to overcome more complex challenges in the industries that can be tremendously impacted by implementing AI, like customer service.
“The ever-present challenge of innovation is balancing regulation and tech evolution. While clamping restrictions and legislation around a developing bubble of tech will stifle its growth, without some safety measures, you are essentially opening the door to risk,” adds Waseem.
One crucial impact of AI in the job market will enable resources to transform themselves into new job roles per market demand.
One of the most significant risks of AI is the privacy of users and businesses. Policymakers need to consider privacy as one of the top priorities while drafting the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence. Evaluating AI regarding data privacy, data protection, and security is crucial.
“It’s very easy to allow the excitement of potential benefits to override caution. And it’s not about stamping out that enthusiasm either – it’s finding ways to harness the fervor while also building data governance and safety policies into the very structure of the movement rather than it being an afterthought,” adds Waseem.
While drafting AI, ethical considerations priority should be a top consideration to respect the users right to privacy.
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As there is a tremendous surge in the adoption of AI, multiple instances of biasedness and discrimination have been witnessed and have raised serious ethical questions about leveraging AI. The success of AI depends on the quality of the data Fed into training the system. How can businesses ensure that the training data provided to the AI tools are not biased or discriminatory?
However, all organizations have the right intentions to embrace automation, but how can they ensure they have calculated all the unexpected consequences of integrating AI? As there is a tremendous buzz in the market about the potential AI risks, businesses have started having more open discussions about AI ethics and values.
No regulatory bodies worldwide have stringent legislation to monitor and regulate AI practices. Nor is there a law enforcement mechanism to ensure businesses comply with the ethical AI rules implemented. One of the most effective ways businesses can overcome this gap is by developing ethical frameworks by collaborating with ethical experts and researchers to develop AI ethics frameworks for their model.
“Every industry will face similar challenges; businesses need to get data leaders on board to proactively design and enforce frameworks and guidelines based on their needs. Data and tech leaders have more than enough knowledge to overcome regulatory challenges. But too often, the industry continues to operate in silos, only sharing information after an incident such as a data breach; instead of waiting for government policy to catch up, data leaders should be putting the wheels in motion for their regulation now, be proactive and on the front foot. This could drive the government policy too,” adds Waseem.
The ethical concerns and risks of using AI will be an ongoing debate. Despite the tremendous benefits that artificial intelligence could offer, it can also expose the organization to severe threats.
Even though AI industry veterans or regulatory bodies enforce ethical rules that AI models need to comply with, how will they ensure that all of them abide by the set rules? As the technology evolves, there will be tremendous changes in how businesses develop and use AI.
Nikhil Sonawane is a Tech Journalist with OnDot Media. He has 4+ years of technical expertise in drafting content strategies for Blockchain, Supply Chain Management, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT. His Commitment to ongoing learning and improvement helps him to deliver thought-provoking insights and analysis on complex technologies and tools that are revolutionizing modern enterprises. He brings his eye for editorial detail and keen sense of language skills to every article he writes. If he is not working, he will be found on treks, walking in forests, or swimming in the ocean.
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