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Ethical AI - The Conscience of Artificial Intelligence

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Akhil Sundar,Senior Software Engineer

After Internet AI has been the most significant game-changing technology to have made its foray into the world of computers, how much will it affect or change our lives? Will it cook for us? Drive us around? Babysit our kids? Make music? Well, it's not going to be purely based on the sophistication AI achieves in the coming days, but also how much we as a species are ready to 'trust' a machine or software with making day to day decisions for us. Or ask ourselves, the tech community, How can we create trustworthy algorithms that allow a computer to decide what is right or wrong.

'Trust' and 'Ethics' are two sides of a coin, interchangeable but inseparable and ethics in the context of program software-centric technology, for example, an AI in ER and the medical ethics of a doctor in ER is the same, the only difference being the former's ethics is based on a set of 'rules' or 'decision paths' and latter's on human empathy and world experience passed over generations.

Making Moral Sense of Artificial Intelligence

Software systems are designed and tested to give predictable outputs for predictable inputs based on programmed algorithms and learning models to decide what is good or right. But to be good or right is a purely relative depending on the circumstances, 

location and demography of whom it is meant for, the impact it makes on the surrounding, these questions and the answers to them, define the ethics of an AI system. 

Machines don't acquire this sense of judgment on its own but based on the rules and codes written by a team of developers who from their collective life experiences and moral sense of right and wrong decides through discussion and question-answer sessions the behavior and conscience of the machine, in a way, it becomes personal, similar to an artist creating a piece of art, and the truth is the ethics of the AI is as good as the ethics of its creators.

One may ask, after all, its just a software program or a computer, why does there has to be an ambiguous approach towards its implementation when there are specification documents which define the requirements and expectation, simply because an ethical AI is beyond predictive outputs for predictive inputs method, it has a far-reaching human impact and influence.

Defining Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

Any Artificial Intelligence output is as good as the quality of the information it receives, with machine learning an AI system can learn and unlearn to change or augment its predictions over time. It depends on how well and how much of the ground is covered by the developers in creating an Artificial Intelligence system which can irrespective of the quality of inputs or information it receives it can generate outcomes of "good ethical quality" and responsible impact on the humans. 

The question of moral responsibility of the AI towards humans, what is required from its creator to meet this responsibility, somewhere here lies the answer in creating an ethical Artificial Intelligence System.

Why are ethics important?

The Internet has transformed our life more than anything else in the recent memory, but it came with some visible and few hidden perils, it is as good or bad as the individual using it. Artificial Intelligence has the same power to transform our lives as it is becoming more and more mainstream, the questions of ethics and trust are of absolute urgency, identify the hazards both detected and undetected to prevent any surprising outcome which can harm a human. For example, any first-time misrepresentation of data about the user will have a ripple effect on every downstream outcome or prediction the AI system makes for its user and the sole responsibility to prevent any such harm lies with the creators of AI.

Why should businesses have ethical AI?

As more and more businesses are moving in the direction of human-machine interaction in their workspace and decision making the need of ethics in artificial intelligence has become as significant as the notion for business ethics, and with machine learning the AI systems are ever-growing and evolving and sometimes may outgrow the original purpose which begins to appear with time as we have seen with the internet and social media and it will take the creators and businesses to come together with a vision beyond the present to create an ethical AI system. 

 AI is everywhere but ethics is rare, be the rare one. Get in touch with us,your ethical AI starts here.

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