Ethical Issues in Artificial Intelligence

Niraj Dubey
AI is a technology that is transforming every walk of life. It is a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyze data, and use the resulting insights to improve decision making. Artificial intelligence (AI) may still be far from the stuff of science fiction, but its impact on industries and society is profound and getting more prevalent.
With its subset, machine learning, AI helps create safer workplaces, easier access to information and reliable health diagnoses. Artificial intelligence is also used in virtual assistants, self-driving cars, facial recognition, and recommendation systems in social media, entertainment platforms, and e-commerce. The potential of AI is limitless, but as this technology advances, the risks also increase. One of the problematic issues with unrestrained AI is data privacy violations, like what Facebook did when it gave Cambridge Analytica access to the AI-collected personal data of more than 50 million users. Tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and others are building teams to address ethical issues that result in the wholesale collection of data. Clearly, businesses and industries are responsible for ensuring that AI development is ethical and unbiased. The various factors that justify the artificial intelligence ethics are like:-
Customize AI ethical framework to suit your industry
Different companies use technologies differently. An organization serious about building an ethical AI should unequivocally express its ethical standards, including naming all its stakeholders and how the standards will be maintained. Moreover, risk mitigation should be baked into the framework. With this method in place, the ethical standards that the different stakeholders-product developers, data collectors, managers, and owners-should comply with are easily determined.
Conform with global AI ethical guidelines
Artificial intelligence has the potential to raise the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 14% by the year 2030. This game-changing impact makes it imperative for businesses to take advantage of AI. International organizations, such as UNESCO, developed a framework for member-states to adopt and ensure that disruptive technologies such as AI benefit the greatest number of people in a bid to ensure that AI builds are trustworthy and human-centric.
Another vital concern for building ethical AI is data privacy and security. This concern becomes apparent when an organization has no governance or data strategy set up at the project’s onset. Privacy, however, isn’t the sole concern when it comes to data. Take companies that deal in financial services. Often, they collect confidential data that needs added security measures. The ideal data partner would have various security options to meet the clients’ requirements and a robust security system to protect the clients’ data and prevent data breaches. Moreover, the data partner should comply with the data regulations specific to the industry and the area.
AI-powered Addiction
Smartphone app makers have turned addiction into a science, and AI-powered video games and apps can be addictive like drugs. AI can exploit numerous human desires and weaknesses including purpose-seeking, gambling, greed, libido, violence, and so on. Addiction not only manipulates and controls us; it also prevents us from doing other more important things-educational, economic, and social. It enslaves us and wastes our time when we could be doing something worthwhile. When I talk about this topic with any group of students, I discover that all of them are “addicted” to one app or another. It may not be a clinical addiction, but that is the way that the students define it, and they know they are being exploited and harmed. This is something that app makers need to stop doing: AI should not be designed to intentionally exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology.
Isolation and Loneliness
Society is in a crisis of loneliness. For example, recently a study found that “200,000 older people in the UK have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month”. This is a sad state of affairs because loneliness can literally kill. It is a public health nightmare, not to mention destructive of the very fabric of society: our human relationships. One might think that social media, smartphones, and AI could help, but in fact they are major causes of loneliness since people are facing screens instead of each other. Loneliness can be helped by dropping devices and building quality in-person relationships. In other words: caring. This may not be easy work and certainly at the societal level it may be very difficult to resist the trends we have already followed so far. But resist we should, because a better, more humane world is possible. Technology does not have to make the world a less personal and caring place-it could do the opposite, if we wanted it to. If we instead find our humanity not in our brains, but in our hearts, perhaps we will come to recognize that caring, compassion, kindness, and love are ultimately what make us human and what make life worth living. Perhaps by taking away some of the tedium of life, AI can help us to fulfill this vision of a more humane world.
The author is Sr. Faculty – GCET Jammu & Cyber Passionate – (J&K)