Ethical AI as the Bridge Between Humanity and Technology

The Gist

  • Ethical AI imperative. Ethical governance in AI is crucial to manage privacy and data use, ensuring human-centric technology evolution.
  • AI’s transformative role. Generative AI significantly transforms human-brand interactions, necessitating ethical and transparent practices.
  • Future collaboration focus. Investing in ethical AI practices is key to a harmonious future between humans and AI technologies.

In an era where the human experience is tantamount to being the scarcest “resource” (besides time, of course) of exponential value, generative AI is making a big splash and is undoubtedly and irrevocably transforming interactions between humans, brands and businesses. A foundation must be laid so both species — humanity and AI — can come together to increase the probability of a better future.

Ethical AI as the Bridge Between Humanity and Technology
Humanity and AI can come together to increase the probability of a better future.PaulShlykov on Adobe Stock Photos

To be specific, AI or narrow-band use cases for AI have been around for decades — we’ve all heard Geoffrey Hinton speak. Put simply, every household Web2 brand — think the FAANG stocks — Facebook (Meta) , Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google — all exploited AI for profit.

In this Web2 “era,” we humans, specifically our data (of intentions, needs and wants), were essentially the “products.” In short, our data was monetized, oftentimes infringing on our privacy.

Make no mistake, AI has been around for decades, seven-to-eight decades in fact, before generative AI or large language models (LLMs) made a big splash in 2022. What it meant was that the power of AI was and will be increasingly democratized — in our hands or pockets, just a prompt/speech/ask away. But what’s less apparent is how we’ve shifted the perennial gray line even further left — yielding yet even more data to train these new LLMs such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard and Meta’s Lama 2.

From chatbots that offer 24/7 customer support to personalized content recommendations, generative AI has the potential to elevate the human experience to new heights. However, harnessing this transcendental power necessitates stringent ethical practices and governance frameworks to ensure the well-being and privacy of well, humans (customers, employees, citizens).

It should be common knowledge now that generative AI hallucinates as it strives to provide us the “best” answers possible — sometimes making things up along the way. All the more reason for ethical guidelines and boundaries to guide our thoughts and actions, and to steer a positive growth trajectory for what is poised to become the most disruptive human invention. Period.

We will dig into into the importance of ethical AI frameworks and boundaries in human-centric AI applications, supported by examples across various industries — but focused more on the applications of generative AI and LLMs — though I can’t possibly cover the cumulative ethical impact of general AI in this short article.

Ethical AI Example No. 1: Personalized Content Recommendations

Streaming Services

Generative AI algorithms analyze user preferences and viewing history to suggest personalized content. While this definitely enhances the human experience, it also raises concerns about privacy. Ethical governance must dictate how much data is collected, ensuring that customer data is not exploited or shared without consent. There’s so much debate amongst experts about the spectrum of data: zero-party, first-party, third-party data etc. ChatGPT, for example, was trained using text databases from the internet. This included a whopping 570 GBs of data obtained from books, web texts, Wikipedia, articles and other pieces of writing on the internet. Back in 2022 — even then, results were jaw dropping, and OpenAI coralled millions of users within weeks. Now we’re grappling with synthetic data, i.e., data fabricated by AI itself for training purposes.

Related Article: Ethical AI Principles: Balancing AI Risk and Reward for Brands & Customers