Unethical Use of Artificial Intelligence

Unethical Use of Artificial Intelligence

Even though artificial intelligence can bring about a substantial positive impact in many areas of our lives, AI’s inappropriate and unethical use has become a big concern in recent years. During my investigation of artificial intelligence in business and in societies in the last five years, I have been negatively surprised by the quantity of wrong and unethical usage of AI worldwide. Several big technology companies have been involved in scandals by allowing wrong and unethical use of data and artificial intelligence in their platforms. The most well-known is the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook gave access to sensitive user data of 87 million user to consultant firm Cambridge Analytica which used AI algorithms to micro-target their political ads in the 2016 US elections.

Biased and unethical use of Artificial Intelligence

Two of the principal errors of AI usage are the unethical use of AI and AI’s biased use.

The word biased means unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something. In our current world there is unfairness and discrimination. Al algorithms work thanks to data, and if the data reflects the injustice and unequal society, it will learn from our biased systems.

The word unethical means not morally correct. In the context of Artificial Intelligence, the unethical use of AI is typically related to the violation of private data. However, who decides what is morally or ethically correct and what not? Between cultures, there are differences as to what is considered unethical and what is not. There should be a more open public discussion about morally and ethically correct when building technology products for consumers and using their data. However, people´s data should be valued and not violated.

In today’s competitive business environment, many business leaders are pressured to analyze how to generate more value for shareholders and investors and fail to reflect the long-term implications of artificial intelligence’s unethical or biased use. It’s worth mentioning that this is not the case of most companies, and due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many have carefully started to design human-centric use of Artificial Intelligence. In 2018 Salesforce, the world-leading CRM company was the first company in the world to name “chief ethical office, “ and many big companies have followed their examples.

Some considered it was a way to improve Salesforce’s brand image, but either way, it is a crucial step to more human-centric business practices. 

AI also gives tremendous power for those to control all the data. This is one reason China is investing huge amount of money to use AI everywhere in society, but most importantly, to make the Chinese government more powerful by controlling citizens’ data. China is not the only country that uses Artificial Intelligence for surveillance. Out of the 176 countries globally, 75 are actively using AI for surveillance using AI technologies such as facial recognition systems and smart policing tools. 

This often happens without citizens knowing they are being monitored and their data is being used for different AI algorithms. Most AI surveillance technologies are developed in China and sold to countries with less democratic systems, especially in Africa

Here is a list of some of the surprising and unethical uses of AI that have been recently discovered:

How do you find these pitfalls and challenges? If you know of any other challenges, please leave a comment. There are also several positive use cases of artificial intelligence, as you can read more here.

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Copyright 2022 LasseRouhiainen.com. All rights reserved.