Implementing Ethical Artificial Intelligence

AI adoption is still in its infancy, which means many companies lack a strategic focus on its integration. And sadly, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

In response, a company should also compile several advised guidelines and incorporate them into its own ethical principles. These guidelines should reflect the makeup of a team and its core values. This means building a team or working with a software provider whose team represents a country in terms of gender, age and ethnicity. In the United States, for instance, a team’s makeup should statistically be 50 percent female and 27 percent people of color. Committing to diversity and representation allows for the humans behind AI to bring varied perspectives and ask necessary questions. As a result, the AI solution will be as ethically sound and unbiased as possible, so it can find the best solutions for its users.

Adhere to a set of best practices

AI adoption is still in its infancy, which means many companies lack a strategic focus on its integration. And sadly, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why there are also technological best practices that AI must adhere to. These include understanding how AI learns, how it prescribes tags to images and words, and how data come together to serve users’ recommendations.

In addition, teams must also be mindful of eliminating biases in race, religion and other dimensions. Eliminating these biases and prejudices of humans means AI works objectively to make the best determinations for its users.

Have open communication about algorithmic outputs

Per the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, transparency is a key ethical requirement for AI systems. This means that you must explain to users how your AI works, how your business works and how it affects outcomes of the technology.

Any company that is unwilling to be transparent about how its AI works presents a red flag to potential customers. What is it hiding? Is its AI not true AI, but instead machine learning with regular human inputs? Does it have something in its algorithms that is unethical—and that it wants to keep confidential?

Transparency must be far-reaching, too. It’s not just between a service provider and its customer, but among a customer’s team members, too. Make sure to educate your organization about the implications of AI, how it works and how it will fit into their jobs. This human-centric approach will improve the success of AI and should be integrated into the process at the outset.

Overall, an ethical company deploying AI should be able to answer any question a user has about the software it is deploying and be nothing less than fully open in communication.

Find the right partner

AI is an emerging technology that is taking the advertising world by storm. It will transform how businesses communicate with customers and influence their purchasing habits. However, it is up to you to ensure that AI is being implemented in an ethical manner.

If you decide to move forward and partner with an AI company, you must demand transparency and insight into its technology and guiding principles. Your values must align, and it is important you feel comfortable that they do.

Ethics in artificial intelligence will only improve when users—marketers, advertisers, and creative content directors—demand it. Make sure to partner with companies that regard ethics as a cornerstone of their technology rather than simply a box to be checked.

Let’s Get Ethical

Remember, infusing AI into a marketing strategy, or into overall business operations, is about more than just incorporating a flashy new technology. AI can have a profound impact. We need to ensure ethics and bias are being addressed from the beginning to achieve the best results.


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