Artificial Intelligence: a Brief Summary of Ethical Issues
AI systems, despite being based on machine learning, are originally always developed by human beings. The possibility of making mistakes or perpetuating prejudices is always around the corner.
Ethics of AI: the risk of prejudices
Datasets too unbalanced?
When we talk about an ethical use of artificial intelligence, the risk is, in general, the elaboration of unbalanced datasets, which overestimate or underestimate the weight of certain variables in the reconstruction of the cause-effect relationship necessary to explain certain events and, above all, to predict them.
In a positive scenario, AI systems can be used to improve human judgment and reduce our conscious or unconscious biases. However, data, algorithms and other design choices that influence AI systems can reflect and even amplify the existing cultural assumptions at a specific moment in time and, consequently, inequalities.
Ethics is a theme that must be increasingly present in the future development of artificial intelligence, starting from the basic rule that provides that AI should always be put at the service of people and not vice versa.
A decalogue for ethical artificial intelligence
These principles have been well explained by a decalogue drawn up by the UNI Global Union, an international federation that unites service sector syndicats. Among the most significant points of the document there is the need for the development of a responsible, safe and useful artificial intelligence, where the machines maintain the legal status of tools and the general counsels always keep control and responsibility on these machines.
This implies that AI systems must be designed and managed in accordance with applicable law, including privacy. Not only that: workers must have the right to access, manage and control data generated by AI systems, given the power of systems to analyze and use this data. In addition, employees must also have the "right to explanation" when AI systems are used in human resource activities such as hiring, promotion or dismissal.
As mentioned earlier, in the design and maintenance of artificial intelligence, it is essential that the system takes into account negative or harmful human prejudices and that any error - as regards gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, etc. - is identified and not spread by the system.
And what about you? Would you adopt AI technology in your business?
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