How AI is Changing business: Exploring the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace
I don't know if I am early or late for the party. Recently I've begun an investigation into Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve my personal productivity. Obviously, AI has been making waves in various industries, from healthcare to finance. Many of us are creatively figuring out how to improve the nature of work. However, since AI could be put in place to influence decisions that affect people's lives, we should engage in a robust conversation about the ethics underpinning technologies such as this. AI in any form offers the potential to revolutionize the way we do business. But with such powerful technology comes an increased need to consider the ethical implications of its use. I’m a huge fan of keeping ethical discussions front and center as the future of work continues to change.
As a non-tech thinker, I see AI as a set of algorithms utilized to make decisions and solve problems. As someone who loves to write it’s a research assistant and idea generator available through the stuck places of the artist journey. Despite how we may use AI, these algorithms are designed to be as objective and unbiased as possible. However, AI can still be affected by its given data and how it is programmed. As such, there remain several ethical considerations that should be taken into account when developing, deploying, and using AI. Biased thinking raises its hand in almost every type of situation. Hence, it takes extra intentionality to consider this as we program the future. The applications will only be as free of bias as the programmer's logic.
In my humble opinion, the programmer's logic becomes one of the most important ethical considerations for the potential of biased decision-making. AI algorithms can be affected by the data fed into them, which can be skewed by factors such as gender, race, or socioeconomic status. There are actual differences; this should not be downplayed or ignored. Poor ethical practices at this level might lead to unfair or even discriminatory decisions. In the U.S., we've come a long way but still have a way to travel if we want to fully understand conscious and unconscious biases and how they play out in our workplaces.
Another ethical consideration is privacy. I'm a private person, and AI algorithms can be used to gather and store personal data, which can be used to make decisions about individuals without their knowledge or consent. This tends to raise a few yellow flags and spur additional questions about how such data is used and, most importantly, how it is protected.
At the end of the day, I would regret not speaking to the likely prospect that AI has a high potential of being used to cause harm. AI algorithms can be used to create malicious software or to automate malicious activities, such as cyber-attacks. We must consider the possibility and the probable adverse consequences of such actions while taking proactive steps to prevent them.
I'm no expert, just a curious practitioner who embraces change and wants to see that AI is used responsibly. Now is the time to consider the ethical implications of AI and put common sense measures in place to mitigate any risks. These measures include ensuring that data used to train AI algorithms is unbiased, that privacy is respected, and that any potential malicious use of AI is prevented.
Ethics in business are a huge deal, and we all should be talking more, not less, about it. Investigating the ethics of AI is an essential step in ensuring that this powerful technology is used responsibly and ethically. As the future of work continues to evolve, it is vital that ethical considerations are utilized and that measures are put in place to protect us all against any potential risks. On the upside, if your are a writer or communicator we should all be looking forward to a future with fewer stuck places in our creative processes.