As artificial intelligence improves, algorithms will get “better” at delivering you the content you want to see, and the ethical issues that come with these advances must evolve right along with the technology if we want to keep order in our lives. With so much of the world’s population using at least one social media platform to document parts of their lives, and with the amount of big data being generated and analyzed, the more likely that data will be used maliciously and in violation of the individual’s privacy. After such privacy breaches at major companies like Yahoo, Facebook, and others, privacy and trust are a top priority for many people.
It’s common sense that earning the trust and respect of your customers and the general public is more positive in the long run than violating that trust. So why do we see the advancements in data collection, artificial intelligence, algorithms, and other technological advancements seemingly getting ahead of ethics? Facebook is calling on regulators and legislators in Congress to take up the issue of monitoring and taking action on online misinformation, but should they not be more proactive on their end?
Perhaps the possibility of coding ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence systems will be a reality some day. But for now, it is more practical to teach developers how to develop these ethical systems.
“By 2022, 30% of consumers in mature markets will rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to decide what they eat, what they wear or where they live. By 2022, 30% of organizations will use explainable AI models to build trust with business stakeholders, up from almost no usage today.” (Buytendijk, Sicular, Brethenoux, and Hare)
If AI will take over so much of our lives from where we live, what we wear, or even driving our cars around for us, what can be done right now by the companies who have created and unleashed the ill effects of AI to start developing these ethical systems? Companies must first set clear ethics guidelines surrounding their AI approaches and should dedicate resources to offering training workshops to their tech and marketing teams to create awareness within the AI implementation and accountability.
Marketing teams must find ways to communicate the proactive steps the company is taking behind the scenes to ensure proper ethics guidelines are followed and that their private information remains private. By doing so, companies will regain or continue to grow trust among their customers and the general public to then create a more sustainable business for years to come, as well as helping to repair the negative stigma that comes with AI.
Buytendijk, Sicular, Brethenoux, and Hare. “AI Ethics: Use 5 Common Guidelines as Your Starting Point.” Gartner. 31 Dec. 2020, www.gartner.com/document/3947359?ref=solrAll&refval=304597683
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