Artificial Intelligence And Ethics: When and Where Does It Begin?

With the latest technology and network development as well as huge amount of data and machine learning algorithms, we have successfully made several big inventions in the field of artificial intelligence. And there is no doubt that it has helped us a lot so far. It improved healthcare, provided better customer service, helped us save time, and generated the companies a lot more revenue.

While it has a lot of benefits, it also has quite a few challenges and risks. One miscalculation and mistake can prove to be extremely devastating.

Today, it’s extremely important to quickly figure out the potential risks of AI and take effective measures quickly. So, we also need to create and use a system that will help us identify the potential risks. And that’s why developing the right ethics of AI is absolutely necessary.

But what those potential risks of AI could be? How AI is operating today? And why the application of ethics in AI is so important?

In this article, we’re going to discuss the current operation of artificial intelligence, its potential risks, and how AI ethics can help us avoid it.

So, without further delay, let’s dig in…

AI Benefits And The Need To Be Cautious

Current Use Of Artificial Intelligence
Current Use Of Artificial Intelligence

Today, the use of artificial intelligence in automation is drastically changing the world as we know it. And as a result, it’s very important to observe the technology and apply the notion of AI ethics in intelligent system. With the application of AI ethics, we can make sure that the machine and system we are developing is safe, secure, and won’t cause any harm to the society once they’re deployed.

We’re living in an interconnected world. And with the introduction of 5G technology and AI automation, we have a chance to make the world many times better and more efficient. With the use of AI automation, we are improving our healthcare service, supply chain management, education sector, transportation, and much more.

As the processing power of the computers improves, we will see great progress and advancements in big data, AI, and machine learning. And as time passes, the AI would be able to perform human tasks on its own, And that too in a more efficient manner. Eventually, this will save us time, money, and enable us to achieve the much-needed automation.

Sure, using artificial intelligence does have a lot of benefits. However, we shouldn’t forget that we will also have to bear a significant amount of responsibilities too. If someone misuses the AI tech or we make big design mistakes, it might cause humanity to suffer great harm. And this damage might also be irreparable.

Therefore, we must assess the potential risks the misuses of AI might put upon us. And we need to make sure that the automation programs are build with significant amount of caution and responsibility.

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Potential Risks Of AI And Artificial Intelligence Ethics

Risks Of AI
Risks Of AI

It’s obvious that we must be careful and keep safety in mind while developing the machine learning system. And the ethics of artificial intelligence exists to make sure we avoid or prevent any potential harm that might be caused by the AI system.

However, in order to avoid future dangers regarding AI, we must understand all the dangers that the misuse of the system might induce. So, in this section, we will discuss the potential risks of artificial intelligence to prevent them from taking place.

Risk Of Artificial Intelligence: Bias And Discrimination

Any AI system needs to be trained with a massive amount of data to work efficiently with as few errors as possible. The system analyzes the data it receive and learn from the solutions so it can make accurate conclusion while solving the similar problem. However, this also mean that the system will also pick up the predetermined concepts and biases of the system developer.

The system might be biased towards a specific portion of population discriminating multiple group of people. As a result, it might produce an outcome that totally discriminates a specific portion of the population. So, if the system developer has any personal bias and feeds data to the system according to it, the whole system can be flawed from the very beginning.

The Denial Of Individual Right And Autonomy

Artificial intelligence and ethics
Compromising Individual Autonomy

In the past, humans controlled most of the cognitive functions of the AI system. So, if anything would negatively affect other people, the people in charge of the system was responsible for it. But the situation is not the same anymore.

Today, AI algorithms almost act on their own. But their decision and predictions still affect the general people. However, the problem is that even if the decisions of the ML system impact any individual negatively, we’re currently unable to hold anyone responsible for it. One of the most common excuses people use in this case is it was what the system decided. They literally blame the system and get away. And they say that since they have no control over it, they couldn’t do anything.

But this isn’t the truth.

That’s because of the system designed and developed by a human. So, depending on how they train the AI, they can change or manipulate the decision the system takes. In the worst-case scenario, the system can outright deny the right and the autonomy of an individual, or it can unethically deny the compensation of any major insurance which might negatively affect the life of the people.

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Invasion In Privacy

Artificial Intelligence And The Invasion Of Privacy
AI And The Invasion Of Privacy

There are two ways artificial intelligence can be a threat to the privacy:

  • Because of the misuse or poor design during the development process of the system.
  • The way we use the system.

As we have mentioned before, it takes a lot of data to properly train the AI/ML system. Unfortunately, often such huge amount of data is obtained without the consent of the owner of the data. As a result, the use of big data in the field of AI might often reveal personal information of an individual’s information, causing an invasion of privacy.

Meanwhile, a deployed artificial intelligence system a person with their personal data without their prior knowledge. And this is a serious breach of personal privacy. And may very well affect the data owner adversely hampering their life of free will.

Unexplainable Outcomes

In a few cases, the machine and deep learning algorithms come up with their very own method to find a solution to a problem. And as a result, sometimes, we have no idea how the system solved a problem or how it came to the conclusion.

Of course, this isn’t a big problem most of the time. However, this lack of explanation or transparency might become big trouble from time to time. As we described in our first point, the system itself might be biased and it may discriminate while coming to a solution tossing equality aside. And this might cause serious problems.

Risks Of Artificial Intelligence: Degeneration Of Social Connection

AI And Social Degeneration
AI And Social Degeneration

The application of artificial intelligence along with digital services has done a pretty good job to personalize the user experience. And it has a lot of possibilities to improve our lives even more in the future. But although personalization does have its perks, it also has quite a few potential risks. And what makes it worse that these kinds of risks are tough to identify from the start.

But how is this possible? What are the exact dangers?

Here’s what could happen. If we use automation excessively, it will eventually reduce human-to-human interaction drastically. And if this continues, solving problems individually will not be possible anymore.

Sure, letting the system personalize what we see according to us will improve customer satisfaction. But this will also mean that most people would develop a very narrow worldview that might disrupt human bonds and relationships.

To build a healthy human society, we need to rely on each other, create bonds, and achieve mutual understanding. But if you don’t stay careful, the AI hyper-personalization might destroy the very element of trust and mutual understanding. And we need to make sure that we prevent this from happening.

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Unsafe And Poor-quality Result

An AI system as as good as the data it has trained with. Just as an exceptionally trained and designed automated system will provide high quality results, An AI system that is trained with poor set of data might provide us with unsafe, poor-quality, or even unjust results. And this might lead to significant individual as well as public damage.

So, it’s absolutely important that we make sure that we train the AI system properly. Otherwise, the inefficiently of the system might cause huge damage to the society before we know it.

The Application Of Ethics In Artificial Intelligence

AI Ethics
AI Ethics

According to Dr. David Leslie, when we, humans, do anything that requires significant application of intelligence, we usually make them take responsibility for their decisions and actions. And if they do anything unfair, unjust, or biased, we can hold the action taker or the decision maker accountable. This way, we can make them from abusing their powers and commit any careless mistake.

And according to American cognitive scientist, Marvin Minsky, artificial intelligence is simply a way of making computers and machines do things that require human-level intelligence. Or in other words, the machines are performing the tasks that a normal human would have performed.

And that’s why the AI ethics and roboethics have emerged. It is to make sure to prevent the machines from doing anything that might damage humanity anyway.

The problem is that machines and algorithms can’t be held accountable for any mistake it makes. But this isn’t something we can overlook. That’s where the AI ethics can help by bridging the extensive gap between the use of machines and their lack of moral responsibility.

The design and the deployment process of the AI must be accountable for its actions. In simple words, it means those who designed the AI and those who deployed it has to take responsibility for their actions. We may have a general AI in the future that would monitor and prevent the machines from doing anything dangerous. But for now, we must hold the humans who used the AI responsible. That’s the only way we can use the ML/DL system in a safe manner.

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