Why Should Everyone Care About Ethical AI?

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Some days ago I stumbled upon an article from ELE Times from Jamey Austin who works at Atlassian. He talks about the common usage of AI in our daily lives, the different approaches of it and the challenges we will be facing in the following years. In my opinion, this article is one of the best approaches I have seen so far about the topic .

Austin presents the subject in a short, succinct and well structured way that everyone can understand. He underlines the new challenges that we will be facing as users and consumers of AI in the following years. One new thing I saw were the different approaches we can have about ethical AI.The path I am interested the most is moral behavior. I think we are all responsible of a good deployment of our technology as inventors, creators, consumers, etc. As he well says, errors don’t come from code, but from unconscious bias.

I think we are not concerned of what is coming next in terms of deployment. I imagine a reality where we will have to fix many of the mistakes we are not seeing nowadays. According to Jamey, 85% of the projects that are launched will have erroneous outcomes in 2 years. This is an humongous dilemma. It means we now need people with a more human and ethical point view. However, computer scientists have never received lessons of how their projects can be social oriented without excluding individuals from the experience. Maybe other kind of actors should participate in the productive system to achieve this goals.

Another obstacle we are facing is that we cannot rely on tech giants. They are more interested in making profits than producing more inclusive products. Some of them are really having problematic issues regarding how they treat their current and former employees. It seems we cannot even trust in our governments to make their job. Technology is the new weapon of math destruction as Cathy O’Neil would say. We have seen US and China fighting for their presence or existence in each other’s country. Bombs are from the past and technology is from the future. It might be a slow strategy, but it has global consequences that can make flip the coin to one side or another (in this case the world’s influence).

It’s time we should assume there is still a lot of work to make our use of technology more ethical. For example, experts are at the moment discussing how the topic can be part of the pipeline process (from the beginning until the end). For this, companies should recognize the need of understanding how bias behaviors act against our profits. It is something that Jamey Austin says affects many faces of the company.

We assume AI should make our lives easier, better and cheaper, but maybe we should start asking ourselves what we are giving in exchange to accomplish this reality. We have signed a lifelong contract with tech giants that now organize, recommend and tell us what to do. Technology should be an ally not an enemy and this is something we should bear in mind always.

Data Scientist & Analyst. Curious Learning Enthusiast. Interested in Responsible Tech and DEI | Twitter: @oyidiyaoji