AI, Bad Robots and Ethics

October 7th 2020

A Netflix hit was released recently called 'The Social Dilemma'. In this tech documentary, Tristan Harris explores the ways in which the Tech Giants control the world through the use of AI and algorithms. He calls it the Attention Economy and notes that 'If you don't pay for the product, you are the product".

Harris also goes on to point out that about 50 designers in large tech companies control the attention of over 2bn people. That's frightening. Hence, there is now a strong movement, led by people like Harris in the US and myself and organisations like Responsible Technology Australia to generate awareness in people and in politicians about the unethical side of Artificial Intelligence and what could really go wrong.

Examples of unethical AI or 'Bad Robots' as I like to call them can be found in the news each week. Of late we have seen the disaster in the UK A Levels where algorithms were inaccurately calculating grades for students and how Zoom and Twitter did not recognise the faces of people of colour. What to do about this so that we don't hard code society's existing biases into the machines that will run our world? Ethical AI might just be the answer. There are a number of universal principles related to the ethical use of AI that includes: benefit for humans, society and the environment, human-centred values, fairness, security and privacy, reliability and safety, contestability, explainability and accountability. This must be the future of AI.

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AI, Bad Robots and Ethics
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