In a survey conducted by the Center for the Governance of AI, 82% of respondents said that AI requires close oversight and management.

That’s unsurprising, given the enormous power of this technology. While AI is aiding us in ways beyond our wildest imaginations, fueling innovations like voice assistants, self-driving cars, and many more, it also carries some dangers. When used recklessly, it could be quite harmful, too.

This is where responsible AI comes in. If we are to progress as a society and adopt new technologies, infusing them into our processes, we must employ them ethically. Responsible AI is the answer.

What Is Responsible AI?

Responsible AI is a means of governing AI and ensuring that it is deployed ethically. Given the seriousness of the risks associated with technology essentially having human-like intelligence, organizations must adhere to a set of overarching principles surrounding management, surveillance, and implementation in order to deploy AI responsibly.

This also ensures that AI practices always revolve around humanity and enhance, rather than replaces, human intelligence and efforts. This ultimately assures results that are aligned with what the individuals and organizations that deploy the technology want. Ultimately, responsible AI ensures:

  • Transparency
    • Trustworthiness in results
    • Fairness
    • Privacy

Why Is Responsible AI Important?

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This has become a cliche for a reason. And there is perhaps no better application than that of AI. Over the years, AI has become infused in our daily lives, helping both individuals and larger organizations achieve goals.

But AI has the potential to get out of hand. For that and other reasons, it requires close supervision and management.

Another issue is the potential for bias to affect results. One example of bias interfering with AI processes is that of facial recognition. According to a wide body of research, facial recognition, powered by AI, is contaminated by racial discrimination.

At the end of the day, you must be able to see and understand what the technology you’re using is doing. You must also be able to trust the accuracy of the decisions the tools you use are making.

How to Ensure Responsible AI Practices

Create Learning Opportunities

Responsible AI must be a company-wide effort. In order to infuse these practices throughout your business, employees need to understand what this concept means and why it is so important. In order to make this happen, create learning opportunities for your team members. Seminars, hands-on courses, and discussions are some ideas for educating employees.

Not only will your employees gain an understanding of the purpose and meaning behind responsible AI, but they will also learn ways to put the idea into practice.

Establish a Company Mission on AI

The fundamental concept of responsible AI isn’t enough to gain buy-in from your team. As a leader, discuss with your team how to leverage AI for good and establish a clear mission around it. This purpose statement should reflect your values as a company and complement your overall mission statement.

Be Strategic

One of the main risks associated with the deployment of AI is overusing the technology. Businesses must recognize that this is a powerful tool, and while it has many applications, it shouldn’t be used excessively. Instead, businesses should be strategic about incorporating AI into their practices and products. Consider how AI will aid and enhance practices and products, rather than overhaul them entirely.

Document Your Efforts

This is an important practice for any major initiative — technological or otherwise — at your organization, and no more so than leveraging AI. It’s critical to document your efforts so you have clear practices laid out in writing and can refer to them at any given point in the future. As you document your AI-related procedures, record concrete examples and evidence of what you’ve done along with plans for the future.

Have Diversity and Bias in Mind

Bring in people with diverse voices and backgrounds to assist and govern your use of AI. According to the World Economic Forum, “Actively listening to and addressing the concerns of people with different perspectives throughout the design, deployment, and adoption of AI systems can help identify and mitigate unintended consequences.”

Moreover, diverse voices can identify problems that those with similar backgrounds may not initially spot, leading to improved products and services that better account for bias.

Perform Audits

Finally, organizations should never declare their efforts toward more responsible AI finished. Any time you’re employing technology with this much power and potential dangers, you must continue to monitor and audit your practices and tools. You will need to routinely assess and evaluate your algorithms, data, and procedures to ensure that you are continuing to leverage AI ethically.

AI has enormous potential and many organizations have already tapped into it. But this tool also carries inherent risks. Responsible AI is the key to leveraging this powerful tool safely.

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