The ethical dilemma: Will AI make our lives better or worse?

From virtual assistants to chatbots, artificial intelligence (Ai) has become an integral part of our daily lives.

However, amidst the excitement and convenience Ai brings, the ethical implications associated with Ai must not be overlooked.

The news is rife with scaremongering one day, and discussions about how Ai will improve our lives the next. Will it take our jobs? Or will it make our work lives easier? With Ai anxiety becoming the new workplace buzzword and developments moving so quickly that businesses themselves feel the pressure to react, leaders need to slow down and consider the ethical implications of joining the Ai race.

Challenges to developing ethical Ai systems

All businesses must work to ensure they are complying with ethical guidelines, but particularly those working with sensitive personal data that impacts people’s livelihoods. When developing ethical Ai systems, there are a few important things that leaders should consider.

Firstly, one of the greatest challenges when it comes to developing ethical systems is bias, which is a result of human error when choosing data that the algorithms use. With businesses rushing to react to the Ai race and perhaps not applying as much testing or oversight to the systems as they need, unconscious bias can easily become a part of the Ai’s knowledge. This should be avoided at all costs. There have been instances where unconscious bias in Ai has caused reputational issues for a company, such as claims that it has discriminated against customers on the basis of race or gender, landing companies in hot water or even lawsuits.

Ethical Ai systems must be transparent, allowing users more visibility into the workings of Ai, how the data is managed, how the algorithm is trained, and ensuring fairness and accuracy in their outcomes. Businesses can often find challenges in developing these systems but must be able to overcome them to ensure positive results that will make our lives easier.

The Ai race

Anybody who has glanced at the news recently will be aware of the race that has been ignited amongst the tech giants in Silicon Valley who are striving to be the next to create the biggest Ai advancement. At the finish line of this race lies the golden prize: the next new chatbot that is more intelligent than the rest. This race shows the huge impact that Ai is having on the world, and the pressure that it is putting on even the largest of corporations.

For businesses to successfully navigate the ever-evolving Ai world, they need to understand the implications of Ai models, particularly conversational ones and their impact on various industries. From healthcare to HR, retail to education, conversational Ai is taking different sectors by storm and revolutionising customer service in particular. At Dialpad, customer Lemonbrew, an estate agency technology company succeeded in making 57% more calls after implementing conversational Ai technology. Not all organisations have to join the race, just recognising the wide variety of Ai tools that are already available will make their businesses, and lives, better.

Why embedding Ai ethics and principles into organisations is critical

Establishing a strong foundation for responsible Ai and creating guiding principles is crucial for business success and stability. To effectively implement ethical Ai, organisations need to consider various aspects. First and foremost, there needs to be a commitment to transparency. Clear explanations of how Ai systems work, including the data collected, the algorithms used, and any potential biases present, should be given to users and stakeholders.

Fairness and accountability should be given top priority by organisations. Fairness is preventing biases against certain people or groups from being perpetuated by Ai systems. People are increasingly demanding regulation and to know that Ai is being monitored, as evidenced by a recent survey that found that 62% of UK respondents supported the establishment of a new government regulatory agency. As the public opinion increasingly leans in this direction, it is important to consider what can be done within businesses. Organisations in the UK may increase trust with their consumers and stakeholders while also meeting growing public expectations by embracing ethical Ai development and implementation.

So, for better or for worse?

For responsible Ai, organisational processes must incorporate strong ethics and principles. Without these strong principles, Ai has the potential to cause huge amounts of damage to companies, emphasising why the conversation around the ethical use of Ai should not stop any time soon – especially as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate.

About the Author

Dan O’Connell is Chief AI Officer at Dialpad. Dialpad is the leading Ai-Powered Customer Intelligence Platform that is completely transforming how the world works together, with one beautiful workspace that seamlessly combines the most advanced Ai Contact Center, Ai Sales, Ai Voice, and Ai Meetings with Ai Messaging. Over 30,000 innovative brands and millions of people use Dialpad to unlock productivity, collaboration, and customer satisfaction with real-time Ai insights.

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