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Concerned about Ethical Issues and Regulation in AI?

October 22, 2023

October 22, 2023

According to a recent KPMG study of U.S. CEOs, “Investment in generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a priority for CEOs, but they are wary of navigating ethical challenges and the lack of regulation.”

The report continues, “Eighty-one percent expressed concern that the lack of regulations for generative AI within their industry will hinder their organization’s success. Ethical challenges are the most cited obstacle to successfully implementing generative AI—along with cost and technical skills—and 77% of CEOs said the degree of regulation regarding generative AI should mirror that of climate commitments.” 

So, this begs the question - What should CEOs and other AI leaders in companies do to harness the power of AI to drive growth for their companies, while steering clear of pitfalls? 

Our team of experts, who have extensive experience working in AI at companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, AmEx, Capital One, etc. recommend considering some (or all!) the following action items for best results: 

  • Educate on Capabilities,  Limitations, and Consequences of Misuse: Implement training programs on AI ethics and compliance for employees at all levels. Knowledge is power, and ensuring your workforce has the information about how your company is using AI assists in alleviating AI fears, guards against misuse, and strengthens your team’s ability to harness its capabilities.

  • Establish an AI Ethics Committee: Creating a hyper-focused team of individuals from across the organization to better assess AI projects, provide guidance on ethical issues, and ensure compliance with regulations.

  • Get Involved: Don’t just wait for AI regulation to happen. Engage in dialogue with relevant regulatory authorities and participate in developing AI-related regulations. Proactive involvement helps shape regulations that are favorable to your industry and align with ethical standards.

  • Develop and Adhere to Ethical AI Frameworks: There are many great guidelines that can help govern how AI is developed, deployed, and used within your organization. Ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI systems.

  • Adopt Principles of Responsible AI: Organizations like the Partnership on AI (PAI) or the IEEE, which emphasize fairness, transparency, accountability, and robustness in AI systems, offer great principles!

  • Get Outside Opinions: Consider third-party audits or reviews of your AI systems to ensure they follow ethical and regulatory standards.

  • Prioritize Transparency and Explainability: Being clear and explaining your thought process to others around the AI decision-making process helps with ethical concerns, but also fosters trust with stakeholders.

  • Promote Diversity in AI Development Teams: Many research studies have consistently demonstrated that the absence of diversity in AI implementation leads to bias within the models. To steer clear of the potential pitfalls associated with bias, it is imperative to foster a team that encompasses a rich tapestry of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives.

  • Do a Listening Tour, Regularly: Engage with stakeholders, including customers, employees, and the community, to understand their concerns and incorporate their feedback into your AI strategy.

  • Develop a Risk Management Strategy: Preparing for the worst while you’re building for the best strengthens your business plan for risk mitigation and crisis management, should one ever occur. Remember - failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

  • Think about the Big Picture: Harmonize AI investments with a forward-thinking strategy that embraces ethical and regulatory factors. Strive for equilibrium between short-term benefits and the enduring sustainability of your vision.

  • Promote Widespread Communication: Clearly articulate your dedication to upholding ethical AI practices and adhering to regulatory compliance, both within your organization and to external stakeholders. This proactive communication fosters a foundation of trust and credibility.

Balancing the priorities of AI investment and ethical considerations can be challenging, but taking a proactive, responsible, and transparent approach benefits organizations in navigating these issues successfully while capitalizing on the potential of generative AI.

For more information on everything AI implementation, check out our growing guide here.

For questions about any of the action items above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us

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