dolly dyson-Is it Us vs. Them — Can We Ethically Use AI in Business?
As global IT progress, well, progresses, we’re seeing more and more mentions of AI. More importantly, we see diametrically opposed stances as to whether AI belongs in business or not.
I’ve been following the trends, keeping a metaphorical finger on the pulse of Twitter audiences and Linkedin connections, and… well, the topic is more complex than a simple AI-vs-humans discussion.
For starters, I’ll say this – I don’t believe for a second that AI can take away human jobs. It can’t replace artists, it can’t replace writers, can’t do the job of an executive. We’re realistically decades, if not centuries away from that.
Right now, AI can spin existing content, make it seem original to an extent. Robotic processes can open emails and catalog data. AI can mix and match artists’ works. To me, that doesn’t seem like a threat but an opportunity. However, we do need to prepare for the time when AI will be able to assist businesses on a higher level, and adjust ethical and legal standards.
AI Is Coming — And We Need It
Here’s a certainty — With the proliferation of digital tools and the explosion of data that has come with it (people created 2.5 quintillion bytes of data PER DAY in 2021), businesses must be able to analyze and manage vast amounts of information quickly and accurately to make informed decisions and keep pace with their competitors.
That’s why, in the last few years, we’ve witnessed an “AI explosion”, with various AI-powered tools emerging everywhere.
Despite the fact that we’ve all heard theories and seen sci-fi movies throughout our lives that go along the lines of “AI is going to replace us and take our jobs” and so on — AI isn’t that sophisticated… yet.
Where it is right now, can help us — especially in the business sphere — to adapt faster, be more competitive, and give more relevant tasks to real people, while the AI does the part of the work that can be automated.
Nonetheless, the increasing reliance on technology, particularly AI technology comes with its challenges. One of the most pressing and talked about issues of using AI technology in business are the matters of ethics and copyright.
The Future Of Business
Artificial intelligence isn’t just the future of business: it’s also the present. AI is already being used by companies of all sizes and in all sectors.
For example, by analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns and trends that may be difficult for humans to manually detect, AI can help businesses make more accurate predictions and identify opportunities for growth and/or profit.
AI optimizes supply chain management, identifies new markets, personalizes marketing, and transforms data-driven industries like IT, finance, security, healthcare, and transportation. It has the potential to bring us towards a much better world, where we can focus on significant tasks where human creativity and intelligence are necessary.
But a lot of people are afraid of it.
Mostly, because they imagine a fleet of Terminators taking over their world and their jobs. This is the least likely outcome among a thousand possibilities, so everyone can relax. However, current-day AI does present real ethical problems worth addressing.
Modern AI Is Powerless Without Us
AI isn’t a recent development. Way before the 20th century, people from all over the world have speculated and theorized about machines, sentience, and automatization.
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processed by computer systems. AI systems ingest vast amounts of labeled training data, after which these systems analyze the data for correlations and patterns.
All this means calling it AI is ironic – as it isn’t truly intelligent at all, but heavily reliant on human involvement.
Even with the emergence of new self-supervised learning techniques, human effort is still required, particularly in tasks such as data labeling, which remains essential to fine-tune and validate the accuracy of AI-generated solutions.
When Training Data Goes Foul: The Danger Of Human Bias
Not all data that AI “gets fed” is accurate. The data can be biased, inaccurate, or incomplete because of the limitations and prejudices of the people who curate the set of training data. This leads to AI systems further perpetuating and even amplifying errors, as well as existing human biases (especially racist and sexist).
Here one ethical concern comes into play – what if someone creates an “evil” AI?
There will always be bad players in any field. In medicine, in travel, in economy… But that never stopped progress. Through proper legal boundaries, increased and standardized supervision, and clever utilization of blockchain technology, these issues should be put to rest in the next few years.
Beyond Asimov: Navigating AI Ethics and Copyright in Business
The concept of the laws of robotics, first introduced by science fiction author and professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov, has become an important framework for understanding how we need to control and regulate AI.
The entire point of these laws is that AI (robots in Asimov’s case) should never be able to harm people in any way, through activity or inactivity, and should even strive to protect them.
People are already suing generative AI companies for using their images without permission in training AI models. Lawyers suggest that the dataset providers, not the companies, may be liable for infringement.
Given the insufficient legislation of data and copyright in AI, there is a high probability that we’ll witness more similar cases in the future.
Here’s how to fix this business application of AI.
As we all know, whatever is hard-wired within a program can’t be altered. And while you can talk ChatGPT into writing some questionable statements, you can’t talk it into hurting people, no more than you could talk it into flying.
So, we need to create our own set of laws for AI, and make it a standard that has to be built into each AI’s code, to ensure they follow not only the laws of man, but also the laws of ethics.
Leveraging Blockchain — Enabling AI in Business Today
I believe that one of the main ways ethical concerns regarding AI can be addressed is through the implementation of blockchain technology, as it can play a pivotal role in establishing a more accountable, transparent, and fair AI ecosystem.
Shared economy platforms, like Airbnb, rely heavily on data analysis and AI for tasks such as matching supply with demand and optimizing the price. They need to ensure that they have strong data privacy policies in place (as this platform collects huge amounts of personal data from its users) so that the AI systems they use do not perpetuate biases or violate privacy rights.
However – this isn’t foolproof.Blockchain technology can provide an immutable and decentralized record of all transactions and data exchanges between AI systems, ensuring that they remain responsible for their actions; enhancing the trust and credibility of AI systems, and protecting the privacy of individuals.The use of blockchain technology can help to identify and eliminate biases in AI algorithms.
For instance, at Inery, we have integrated AI into our services through IneryDBAI, which not only calculates the required memory for a project to run but also predicts the amount of memory needed for an ongoing project using Inery’s DBMS.
By creating a transparent and auditable record of data inputs and outputs, blockchain can help better navigate the (currently tricky) combination of AI and business.
What Am I Trying to Say?
As a CEO of a business that fully intends to utilize AI – I see the responsibility of businesses to prioritize an ethical approach while reaping the benefits of AI.
There is no easy solution to ensuring that AI is used responsibly and ethically in the business world. It’s my belief that integrating blockchain technology with AI presents a potential solution to address certain ethical and copyright concerns associated with AI in business.
If we, as drivers of progress and technological advancement, take the time to regulate ourselves and create a set of rules for this emerging tech, AI can benefit us in a profound way
If we don’t? Well, Skynet may not be the end result, but neither will happiness and well-being for all of humanity.
About the Author: Dr. Naveen Singh is the CEO of Inery.io, a decentralized database management system that operates on the layer 1 blockchain. Under Naveen’s leadership, Inery has been on a mission to create a new paradigm for data management by leveraging the security and transparency of blockchain technology.
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