The term AI is one of the most common that we hear nowadays and for good reason. In recent times, we have seen artificial intelligence work absolute wonders the world over. From simple chatbots to complex robots working in difficult conditions, AI is everywhere. It wasn’t too long ago when computers were seen as simple machines and the Internet was considered a fad that would blow over. Here we are several decades later, unable to imagine a life without either. We use computers because we rely on them to do the job, just as we have been told. They will do it as long as needed and as many times as you want. A computer does not tire and unless the power goes out or the computer is turned off, it will continue to do the task it is assigned. When you add the internet to the mix, you are now connected to the rest of the world and this has opened up a gargantuan world of possibility. AI has perfectly leveraged this to its advantage, adding another layer of practicality and usability to computers.
This has evolved to the point where entire teams of humans are being replaced by a single computer. A computer can do the same job, all day, every day, again and again, and follow instructions down to a T. With AI, this entire process has become intelligent and computers now can ‘learn’ based on the data that they have. With widespread digitization, we now have more data being generated than ever before. This has led to the inception of data-driven decision that uses real-time data to generate insights that allow for more informed decisions. When you have information from the real world, knowing what customers want, knowing what sells and what doesn’t, you can optimize your plans and processes for better results.
In the real world, AI is being widely adopted but this raises certain ethical concerns. This article will reflect on these concerns and attempt to paint a picture to show the scale at which they affect us.
A Sense of Explainability
Human beings are inherently driven to seek an understanding of a situation before they act on it. When you try a new cuisine, you want to know what sort of flavors and textures to expect. If you take driving lessons, you want to learn how to operate the vehicle while also knowing how to avoid getting into an accident. Similarly, for all of AI’s benefits, we still lack a sense of explainability when it comes to the decisions that AI makes. The concept of explainability essentially requires an AI system to offer a clear explanation for the decision that it makes.
A common concern that often prevents AI freedom is fairness in decision-making. As human beings, we are able to insert fairness into our decision-making owing to our sense of humanity. An AI program uses the data it has along with the code that it is built on and it can only operate based on the parameters set by the developer. Until we are able to get better explainability from AI, total autonomous deployment is still far away.
Creating An Understanding Of AI
One of the largest hurdles in the adoption of any new idea, product, or technology is a lack of understanding. We tend to avoid things that we cannot understand or explain. AI is no different because the term artificial intelligence is just two words but there is a host of cogs and wheels in the background. We can define AI to the masses but we cannot explain how it works for everyone to understand. As a result, there is a prevalent mistrust of AI that extends from front-line workers up to executives and everyone in between. As a result, the more widespread adoption of AI continues to be challenged.
However, seeing the benefits that AI has to offer, it is important to clear the air about this stuff. We cannot just leave it on its own and expect people to catch up. Instead of finding ways to explain AI to people, it would be better to find what people do not understand and offer clarification. Instead of considering AI as the technological leader, it should be considered a piece of a larger puzzle.
To create more trust between AI and the public, three key areas need to be worked on. These are:
Users must know what data is being collected, how it is stored, and what it is being used for. Not knowing when and what is being recorded, where it is going, or what is being done is a trident of creating mistrust. When users know where their data is going, they will not only feel more comfortable sharing it, but they will also presumably do so more willingly. If you know your data is being used to create a better experience, you may even proactively choose to provide it. This formula applies inside an organization as well as with all necessary stakeholders of it.
Once again, the importance of understanding how AI works cannot be diminished in any way. We need to explain to employees and users how an AI is doing what it does. Naturally, the jargon might not be for everyone but watering it down to make the masses understand will only reap rewards. As humans, when we understand how something works, it becomes easier to trust it. AI is no different and as more people begin to understand how AI algorithms work and produce results, it will begin to make a bigger difference than it already is.
For AI to become more widely accepted, it must be regulated and held to a certain standard. AI is incredibly powerful and a certain degree of control over it must exist at all times. By creating a reliable AI system, we are able to hold AI accountable because there are now standards it is held to. Furthermore, AI reliability also pertains to how effective it will be. In a vast majority of cases, AI has been shown to generate more probabilistic results i.e. in the forms of percentages or such values. An AI can use data to show how much change a certain change in the process might affect an outcome but this isn’t enough. This sort of information often leaves a lot left to mystery. What and how was this figure achieved? What were the alternatives? Why this option? What would have produced a different result?
Artificial intelligence is one of the most powerful innovations mankind has ever produced. It has limitless potential and it can quite literally change the world that we live in. For the most part, AI has already taken over our lives. To get in on the AI train, you sometimes only need a smartphone and an internet connection. Suddenlink makes this easier with its high-speed internet that ensures internet connectivity whenever you need it. To learn more, you can click here to browse their different offerings.