Artificial Intelligence is no longer just a cliched topic in the entertainment world. AI today has developed into a ‘must-have’ for every vertical from the government to basic applications on our gadgets. The use and dependency of AI especially in businesses have increased multifold, be it for understanding the customers or developing new products to suit the needs of the users. While the use of AI is opening up never-seen-before opportunities and possibilities for organizations across verticals, it also brings in incredible responsibility to safeguard the data and ensure transparency. Ethics seem to play a bigger part in ensuring that organizations take up a responsible path in using AI for their businesses.
Data breaches, irresponsible use of the data collected and its processing using AI, and irresponsible use of AI to an extent of violating ethics have become the main concern for the people, government and businesses. A brand’s image is now connected to how responsibly they use AI which is at its disposal without breaching the trust of its customers. In February 2021, NITI Aayog released an approach document on ‘Principles for Responsible AI’ under the hashtag #AIFORALL. The document spoke about ethics, legal, social and technology, surrounding AI. While the Indian government is slowly approaching the subject, keeping in mind the need for AI and its impact on business, society and legal standpoint, the US and EU nations too have started working now on how to bring the responsible use of AI as part of the governance. Until there is an actual policy, which can be brought in regarding the responsible use of AI, the onus is on industry leaders and their organizations to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI in their businesses.
So, what is responsible AI in businesses mean?
French writer Voltaire said ‘With great power comes great responsibility and AI is a power which many believe is only in its 1st leg of being discovered. The understanding of what can be achieved by delving deeper into AI is only something that is being understood now. The veterans of the AI industry believe that ‘responsible’ means ethical and democratized use of AI – a tool, which is now available to any person, who has access to the technology. To elaborate, it is the practice of designing, developing and deploying AI with the intention to empower employees and businesses. Responsible AI’s target is to deliver trust, transparency and an unbiased approach to customers or users in the work environment. Organizations deploying AI should follow important practices and the right AI techniques that are compliant with new and pending guidelines and regulations of AI governance. This will help to deliver a trustworthy and transparent deployment.
One might ask, why is AI needed for businesses when the risks and ethical dilemmas outweigh the uses as of today?
The answer is simple: with AI, businesses have an edge in developing more robust and user-friendly products that help them stay a step ahead of their competition. The data collected helps businesses understand what exactly their customers are looking for and how they can deliver it. Today’s customer service is heavily dependent on AI and good customer service is what makes a brand successful. These are just a few instances of how AI can help businesses stay ahead during times when technology is the knight in shining armour.
This is why one needs to understand the principles of Responsible AI that revolve around minimizing unintended bias, ensuring AI transparency, protecting data privacy and security, and benefiting clients and markets. Organizations deploying AI systems should keep these in mind and put them into practice to attain the desired deployment which is more ethical in compliance with Responsible AI.
An eye on the following key facts for reaping the benefits of Responsible AI
- Data security has been and should be the top priority, so organizations deploying AI should use top-of-the-line data encryption practices. Use approved techniques such as customer lockboxes and data masking to protect the data from unauthorized access by other software
- The AI-based products should have a human-centric design and once it is developed and deployed, they should go through regular operational routines for maintaining the whole idea of it being designed to be human-centric
- The AI system should be developed to anonymize sensitive data of clientele and automatically delete the data after the purpose is fulfilled
- Restricted data transfers between different stakeholders
- It is very important to put in place an explicit approval system for data access during service operations
- A good amount of incident management training and Strict data usage policies can help in times of crises
- Keep a check on risks and threats by performing regular audits and vulnerability assessments
Considering the above factors during AI system deployment will not only help in addressing the principles of Responsible AI but also help businesses develop ethically bound AI applications for their work operations.
Authored by: Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts India