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Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI)™
Navigating complexity of AI ethics
As AI is adopted by a growing number of organizations and functions within an organization, it is a capability that must command the attention and active governance of the C-suite and board of directors. Used unethically—even inadvertently—AI can result in significant revenue loss or stiff fines stemming from faulty automated decision making, non-compliant behaviors, or biased algorithms.
AI and ethics
An analysis of annual reports filed most recently with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows a very telling trend. Twice as many companies reported a specific risk factor in 2018 compared to those citing it in the previous year, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Which risk factor saw such meteoric growth? The use of artificial intelligence.
Unethical AI can damage the intangible but priceless asset: an organization’s reputation and the trust of its customers. Trust is at the foundation of corporate reputation. It routinely emerges as a top attribute when brand equity is measured, because any transaction between a brand and its customers is an exchange of value for currency, and one that is based on trust.
Trust is at the center
Consumers conduct transactions with organizations hundreds or thousands of times a day through such actions as scrolling web pages, banking online or calling customer service. But These transactions seem free of charge, but they aren’t. The currency is consumer data. This can be in the form of personally identifiable information such as a social security number, bank account number or email address. Or it can be much subtler but still very personal information, such as what path they took when scrolling through an app, what they asked their voice-controlled assistant to look up, or what they wrote in the resume they submitted. In all these cases, people trust that their information will be used ethically and without bias by organizations and the AI algorithms they employ.
While we are in the early days for commercial AI regulation, organization cannot sit by and wait for lawmakers to create a roadmap. To do that is to miss out on the gains made possible by AI. The discovery of insights that can lead to innovations benefiting business and society. The intelligent automation of processes that can free up human workers to add more strategic value. Or the creation of new products and services that fulfill unmet needs and help an organization leapfrog its competitors.
Instead, an organization’s board of directors and C-suite should view the use of AI with integrity as an imperative that can’t be ignored. To help tackle this challenge, we recommend that C-Suite leaders leverage an AI framework that helps address elements that ensure ethical use of AI that sustains the trust of employees and customers.
Deloitte’s Trustworthy AITM framework helps clients evaluate six key steps and can help organizations guide ethical use of AI.
Trust is at the center of Deloitte’s framework for the ethical use of AI.
Organizations ready to embrace artificial intelligence and thrive in the Age of With must start by putting trust at the center. Thoroughly assess whether your organization meets the criteria for trustworthy and ethical AI: It’s a necessary step in increasing the returns and managing the risks that constitute the transformational promise of artificial intelligence.
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