Artificial intelligence is being introduced to more users every day — using it to shuffle through music, write strategic plans, make images or art, and improve our lives and business.
But many people don't entirely trust it. Lack of transparency and discrepancies in results could prevent the tech from improving, and the implementation of an AI ethical framework can reform that.
In this post, we'll discuss AI ethics and how ethical decision-making can improve the technology. But if you're in a pinch, jump to the information you need.
What are AI ethics?
AI ethics are moral guidelines for responsible artificial intelligence tech usage and development.
It's a system that AI developers should have in place to serve people better while minimizing negative consequences. Technology can only be as efficient as it's built to be and should follow a universal guideline to benefit its user base.
Why are AI ethics important?
The use of ethics in AI is essential to prevent the misuse of technology. Without an ethical framework behind it, artificial intelligence can result in privacy invasion, unequal bias, and other risks many may not even consider when beginning to use it.
Let's break down some of the biggest ethical focuses in AI that developers should prioritize as it evolves.
Biggest AI Ethical Concerns
AI is just like any other technological advancement in need of guidelines. Many professionals can already see the consequences of using the tool without moral consideration. HubSpot Product Manager Kevin Walsh and the founder of PR 20/20, Paul Roetzer, sat down to discuss ethical concerns for the future of AI.
Professionals from different backgrounds and industries have much to consider as they incorporate AI into their strategy, and we'll discuss some of the biggest ethical concerns in AI.
1. Privacy and Security Concerns
We interviewed one of HubSpot's marketing blog editors, Martina Bretous, to get her perspective on this concern, "It can impact the brand's credibility but also bring legal ramifications. For content creators and artists, there is a real fear of intellectual property theft. How can I ensure that my content is protected from AI?"
AI is a valuable and time-saving tool, but the information it uses to improve isn't guaranteed to be protected. The amount of personal data users unknowingly give away for AI solutions isn't disclosed — and it could be using unauthorized intellectual property to work. Without ethical guidelines, it can lead to data breaches, legal conflict, and other misuses.
2. Social and Environmental Wellbeing Concerns
AI systems can have an impact on individual and environmental well-being. Developers of the technology should clearly outline the objectives of the tech they create to erase ambiguity. Additionally, they should ensure its use is for the benefit of everyone who uses it equally.
3. Reliability Concerns
According to the HubSpot State of AI survey, 30% of marketers don't use AI because they believe it sometimes produces inaccurate information. Users of artificial intelligence rely on the tech to operate as advertised, but there are valid concerns about whether the results it generates are reliable.
Bretous builds on this point to say, "With AI, there's no shortage of ethical implications - it just depends on whose lens you're looking from. For brands, for instance, one ethical dilemma they may have to wrestle with is how they'll disclose the use of generative AI in their content marketing. Does the audience deserve to know when something - say a blog post - has been AI-generated or should audiences just assume it's the name of the game now?"
Typically, AI doesn't disclose the exact sources of information it shares with users — much less a game plan for accident mitigation or investigation when information is false or leaked. To combat these concerns, AI ethics could change these doubts into real plans for beneficial change.
Benefits of Ethical AI
More trustworthiness and privacy protection.
AI ethics can change people's perception of the technology if it becomes an industry standard to provide transparency and explainable disclosures to its users. Building confidence in the technology will likely increase its use and allow users to understand processes and how data is used.
Avoid unfair bias.
Bretous also said, "From a consumer's perspective, bias is an incredibly important concern and this is where AI literacy will be key - just because AI said it, doesn't mean it's accurate or reliable. This is all to say that we've only scratched the surface of what's possible but also what's dangerous about AI."
A benefit of AI ethics is that its use can become fairer. Many AIs have displayed an insensitive or unfair bias for certain individuals or groups using the technology, and adhering to ethical guidelines can help prevent these results. It provides equitable access and representation.
Universal value alignment.
People make decisions by considering universal values, a framework that can be forgotten if not included in artificial intelligence. While AI developers could gradually address individuals' ethical issues, a universal code of ethics can set the standard for how humans use the technology and how AI evolves according to guidelines.
Ethics in AI are a Must
Just as humans have moral guidelines behind what they do, so should the technology we use. AI will become a standard tool across many industries, and to ensure it's used equitably and safely, will benefit from ethical guidelines.