Article contributed by Cleber Ikeda, Director of Investigative Analytics & Intelligence at Walmart (Canada & Latin America).
Do you use a banking app to transfer money or pay bills? Do you watch movies and your favourite series on Netflix? Have you shared selfies or liked friends’ posts on Facebook? Are you looking for a job? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then you have been exposed to artificial intelligence (AI).
There are many definitions of AI, so let’s make it simple: AI is a computational tool that uses and interacts with data to solve problems and achieve goals. Your bank uses your data to predict your purchasing decisions and then offer you special credit lines; Netflix uses recommendation algorithms to analyze your past preferences and continue delivering the best entertainment possible; Facebook’s algorithms analyze your interests to show you ads of products and services you might want to buy; and before your CV reaches recruiters’ hands, it might have to be triaged by a Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool.
There are intrinsically ethical, moral aspects of AI. Think about your personal data that has been uploaded into social media platforms over years long. How do companies as Facebook handle and use your data? (You might be thinking: “that is all explained in the terms and conditions I accepted…without reading it!”). Now, think about face recognition being deployed in police surveillance.
What if you can be wrongly arrested because state-of-art face recognition technology does not work accurately with darker-skin people? There are also the pressing questions we all make ourselves regarding self-driven cars: whose responsibility is in the event the car hurts or kills somebody? Is the company that owns the car? Is the AI developers’ fault? I would not be surprised if someone even blamed the victim.
There are countless applications of AI in which ethical dilemmas are present and this is because AI has been so much an integral part of our lives. Inappropriate use of AI can even have drastic consequences to democracy, human rights and, therefore, to the world we want to leave to the next generations.
In this article, I will explore the following ethical AI principles and how they can be put into action:
- Human agency
- Respecting human rights