Without ethics, AI can do more harm than good

(Image credit: Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

Consumers are not only interested in who is using artificial intelligence (AI) in their day-to-day operations, not even what they’re using it for, but they’re also very interested in how they’re using it. To be more specific, consumers are very mindful of the potential ethical dilemmas that businesses might have from the use of AI.

According to a new report from the Capgemini Research Institute, customers would trust companies that use AI in an ethical way more. They’d gladly recommend such companies to their friends and family, and would be more loyal to such organisations. In many cases, they would even purchase more products and provide higher ratings.

So what does ‘ethical use of AI’ really mean? The report states that this is mostly to do with how businesses collect personal data, and if they are overly reliant on machines when making crucial business decisions (especially in banking and insurance).

A more ethical approach to the use of artificial intelligence could be achieved through more regulation and more transparency. People want to know when they’re being managed by an AI.

“Many organisations find themselves at a crossroads in their use of AI. Consumers, employees and citizens are increasingly open to interacting with the technology but are mindful of potential ethical implications. This research shows that organisations must create ethical systems and practices for the use of AI if they are to gain people’s trust. This is not just a compliance issue, but one that can create a significant benefit in terms of loyalty, endorsement and engagement,” said Anne-Laure Thieullent, AI and Analytics Group Offer Leader at Capgemini.

“To achieve this, organisations need to focus on putting the right governance structures in place, they must not only define a code of conduct based on their own values, but also implement it as an ‘ethics-by-design’ approach, and, above all, focus on informing and empowering people in how they interact with AI solutions.”

The full report, including guidelines what businesses should do when employing AI, can be found on this link.