Business Case for Ethical A.I.
Businesses have a unique opportunity to 1) Do the right thing, 2) Lower risk, 3) Improve the public image of the company and brand, 4) Make more money, 5) Grow the company faster. When done right and with the right partners, AI Ethics can deliver everything listed above. So let’s go over the benefits a company would receive for implementing ethical AI systems.
Ethics generally fall somewhere between, that class I had to take in college, to that class I slept in during college. All kidding aside, most people (other than professional philosophers) don’t spend their work time or free time thinking about ethics. But ethics has a lot more to offer than we were ever taught in college. Let’s take a pragmatic and non-philosophical approach to ethics and how they apply to AI and the bottom line.
Companies have to consider the cost-benefit tradeoffs when implementing anything new. What do you get in exchange for what you are doing? We would suggest that AI Ethics represent massive upside potential with minimal downside risk. The only risk a company takes when implementing ethical AI models is the money on the consultants or new hires into the company. Not much else.
First, implementing Ethical AI as laid out in TheDataOath.org is the right thing to do not only as a company but as human beings. Treating users fairly and equally is good for business. Including as many types of people, races, genders, ethnicities, and factors as possible would not only increase the insights you would have into the world you serve, but it would also help you identify new opportunities and markets less ethical companies are missing. Imagine being able to uncover unmet needs in the marketplace, or reaching out to individuals with messaging, products, and services tailored to them when they had been previously overlooked?
Second, by treating users in an ethical way, the public image of the company could be improved. All good business is about doing the right thing, even if no one notices. But we believe that in many cases, companies would garner the positive benefits of implementing ethical AI models from partners, consumers, regulators, and the public at large.
Third, if your company is operating on ethical models, treating your users as the amazing people they are, and uncovering more needs as a result of your inclusive data strategy, there is a very good chance your company will be making more money. By only using ethical models, your company would also be ahead of the competition who are not employing ethical models, yet. There is a vigorous debate around using black box models that can’t be explained (unethical) but generate significantly better insights/predictions compared to current ethical AI models. However, in most circumstances, black-box models will increase companies’ regulatory and lawsuit risk in the near future.
It should also be mentioned that regulations such as GDPR already require some of the elements of The Data Oath. But businesses would be wise to understand that GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act are just the start. In the coming years, it will be highly probable that more countries will develop their own regulations that might be even more strict. These regulations will be the floor that other regulations will be built upon. So why not start now and shift to models that follow guidelines like those in The Data Oath? You would significantly reduce your regulatory risk while simultaneously enjoying all the benefits we listed above.
So let’s be amazing people who create amazing companies. Not sure how or where to start? Reach out to us or visit TheDataOath.org
What is AI Ethics? Why is it important? Why will it impact all of us?
Implementing Ethical AI isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do.
What is the regulatory case for Ethical AI?
Understand the importance of Transparency & Explainability in AI systems.
What happens when intelligent models don’t accurately include or reflect all genders, races, groups? Why is it so important that models are designed with diversity in mind?