Ethics and AI
There are a few leading technology companies with ample resources who are the forefront of developing tomorrow’s most innovative AI. These companies are moving faster than the government can regulate the industry. There are very few laws or regulations on the books to address AI, so that the public has assurance that what they are using is safe.
According to a recent survey from the company SnapLogic, 94 percent of IT decision makers across the US and UK believe that more attention needs to be paid to corporate responsibility and ethics in AI. With advancements being made in autonomous vehicles, healthcare and medicine, environmental technology, and more, it’s critical that AI companies keep the safety of the public in mind. Below are a few steps they can take to create a safer, more ethical AI environment.
Comply with Regulations That Are on the Books
It may be common sense, but the need to comply can go by the wayside in technological competitiveness.
In the US healthcare industry, AI would be governed by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), or possibly other federal and state laws. If companies have any European customers or employees, they would be governed by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
It’s critical that companies producing AI follow the regulations that are on the books.
Take Control of Data
Data is the gasoline that fuels AI. It’s critical to make sure that the body of data collected is representative of the body of people who will be using the model. This means that data scientists need to continue to use best practices to serve potential customers.
As technology advances, guarding data is an imperative step in protecting the integrity of your technology. When data is compromised, either through hackers or an inadvertent loss of personal data, the public trust is undermined. It’s critical to have secure firewalls in place, and reliable data backups. It’s also critical to have a data recovery plan in place, in the event that operational data is lost. This may mean understanding when a data recovery company may be your best bet to be able to recover from data loss.
Define and Live by Our Values
As more industries become increasingly automated and autonomous, there needs to be a higher standard than statistical accuracy. AI will be empowered to make an increasing number of decisions that may come into conflict with our ethics and values. For example, machines may be making decisions on a defendant’s innocence or guilt. They may decide who will be impacted most in a car accident. They may be making important medical decisions for us in healthcare.
It’s critical that AI know when to default to human ethics over a purely statistical decision. This requires societies to define and live by their values. The decisions made will ensure that our AI is a tool that works on our behalf, and not the other way around.
AI Is Here to Stay
AI will play an increasingly large role in a number of existing and emerging industries. It will be automating roles that currently require human intervention. As that happens, it’s critical to keep humans’ best interest in mind. By following the steps above, we can create AI systems that are ethical and safe.
Technology’s Positive Impact on Climate Change
Data and technology are everywhere. As we collect more information and more data sets, some of the technology that we create is having a significantly positive impact on the environment and climate change.
Below are some of the technologies that are allowing humans to make a positive dent on this issue. As we discover new opportunities to implement technology, there are more opportunities at our fingertips for change. In the midst of this heavy reliance on information, data recovery can play an important role in this key issue.
Technology Is Positively Impacting Climate Change
Data Storage That’s Out of This World
Data centers scattered across the US make up about 2 percent of our national electricity consumption. That’s an amount that significantly contributes to rising carbon emissions. These data centers spew 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually, which is more than the greenhouse gas emissions of 140 countries.
To thwart this problem, there are companies looking to store data on satellites that orbit the earth. These satellites could simplify large-scale international operations, and offer an added layer of security, with data stored on a satellite. When these satellites break down, they’ll not only need highly trained mechanics to fix the issues, but data recovery specialists who can help properly restore the integrity of the equipment.
Urban greenhouse gas emissions are significant. Businesses, homes, schools, and hospitals all give off a significant amount of emissions. In fact, these sources are responsible for almost 20 percent of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
A company called Sidewalk Labs, owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is addressing this issue, by examining ways that digital technologies can help with these problems. They’re reexamining things like traffic patterns to eliminate places of common congestion. Other major tech companies around the world have also committed significant investments in how to reduce emissions in urban areas as well.
More Efficient Transportation
Oil alternatives are already on the market, including electric, solar, and ethanol. But part of the hang up with this type of technology is that it’s just not as efficient and widespread as traditional gasoline. For instance, if you need to charge your electric vehicle, it can take hours, instead of the moments spent at the gas station.
A prototype charger for BMW and Porsche vehicles is capable of adding 62 miles of range to your vehicle in three minutes. It may be a while before this type of charger is commonplace, but when it is, electric vehicle ownership will become more convenient.
Food and Agriculture
As the world’s population continues to increase, finding enough sources of meat will become an increasingly difficult challenge. This is especially true because cows are a significant source of methane gas, and agriculture accounts for 18 percent of the total release of greenhouse gases worldwide.
There are companies and investors looking heavily into the possibility of lab-grown meat, and plant-based alternatives. The company Beyond produces a plant-based alternative that is growing in popularity. As the world becomes more and more crowded, technology is finding more efficient ways to feed the increasing population.
Technology as Part of the Solution
As the problem of climate change continues to present itself in different ways, technology and data collection provide new answers. There are companies working hard to solve tomorrow’s most pressing issues. As this data-driven technology advances, there will be new and exciting opportunities for data recovery as well.
Taking Advantage of a Digital Native Workforce
There is a generation of employees becoming involved in the workplace who grew up with technology playing a significant role in their personal life, and in their education. They are not only comfortable with that technology but expect it to be part of the workplace environment. If your company is holding on to more traditional views of technology, it may be time to make some updates and take advantage of what a younger generation of workers can offer.
Below are some of the steps your company can take to take advantage of a strong digital native workforce.
Encourage Good Ideas from Everywhere
Social media networks implicitly encourage conversation and the spread of ideas from the bottom up. They offer a distinct opposite to a more traditional, hierarchical approach. The youngest generation of workers grew up with social media present through every aspect of their lives.
Social media networks provide the groundwork to encourage and foster new ideas. These ideas can be of great benefit to your business. If your company still operates on a more hierarchical approach, it may be time to shift and find ways to encourage new ideas. Involving social media in the workplace can make your youngest employees feel more welcome.
View Change from a Results-Oriented Perspective
To an employee with a more traditional mindset, seeing a colleague constantly on their cell phone during work hours may be problematic. Receiving texts outside the normal work hours may feel off-putting. But this is where it’s necessary to consider overall results. The employee on their cell phone may be handling customer service issues as they arise. What looks like succumbing to distraction may actually be enhanced productivity.
The Cloud and Mobility
Cloud computing is nothing new for young employees. They’ve been using the cloud to store music and photos for a long time, and they are growing to expect that capability from an employer.
A transition to the cloud and mobile apps allows workers to do their job from anywhere. This can allow for more flexibility, and the ability to find effective methods for communicating. It also changes what we think of as the workplace and can provide the infrastructure for a work from home arrangement.
This is an increasingly important arrangement for younger workers and can offer an incentive for workers to remain loyal into the future.
Establishing the Right Tools
Companies need to implement the right set of tools to allow workers this extended connectivity and flexibility. There are a host of SaaS platforms available looking at all aspects of today’s workplace needs.
Applications like Slack, Trello, or Basecamp are establishing their own means of connectivity. They offer a way to fight back against inner-office silos and make information more readily accessible on all fronts.
Attracting the Best Talent
The key to long-term success for any company is the ability to attract the best talent of tomorrow. The way to do that is through making the workplace appealing to a younger generation of digital native employees. Are you doing everything you can to make your culture and environment as inviting as possible?