Experts call for safeguards to promote best use of AI

Adopting and sharing best practice to govern the use of artificial intelligence (AI), as well as clear guidance, will encourage responsible innovation and make sure people benefit from emerging technologies. That was one of the conclusions of a new report from global analytics leader SAS, AI & Responsible Innovation: What’s Next?

As an insatiable appetite for data analytics and advances in quantum computing fuel new developments in AI, concerns are mounting that it could lead to people being harmed or disadvantaged, whether this is done intentionally or not.

One of contributors to the SAS report is data scientist, global speaker and founder of the Data Leadership Group Dr Kirk Borne.  He said: "AI has become so powerful, and so pervasive, that it’s increasingly difficult to tell what’s real or not, and what’s good or bad.

"Of course, it’s not only the outright criminals we need to be wary of. With its smart decision-making capabilities, AI is being adopted by businesses and governments faster than it can be regulated. The question is, how can they avoid the unintended biases that can creep into models and unfairly disadvantage certain groups?”

The report also identifies the many positive uses of AI in businesses and wider society, including greater efficiency and productivity, and as a stimulus for innovation. It also looks at some of the recent developments in AI, including the emergence of ChatGPT, the chatbot which uses natural language processing to generate written text that most people would think came from a human.

Among the many industries that stand to benefit are healthcare, where earlier disease-detection is becoming possible through techniques such as computer vision, and financial services where it’s possible to better understand customers, better manage risk exposure and improve fraud detection.

The report explores regulatory developments which are currently at various stages in the UK, the US and the EU, while highlighting the ethical duties on technology companies.

Commenting on the report, Dr Iain Brown, Head of Data Science at SAS UK & Ireland, said: “Governments and industry both have a role to play in ensuring AI is used for good not harm.

“Because they are unclear as to how to take advantage of AI, organisations may be reluctant to embrace it and therefore miss out on the many benefits it can bring. Our goal is to make it easier for them to innovate responsibly and remain compliant with relevant legislation.

“We have developed a clear ethical framework to guide the development of our AI models, and we have strict model governance in place to ensure fair, transparent and equitable decisions. We continually test our AI models against challenger models and optimise them as new data becomes available to ensure the best outcomes for everyone.”

The report features contributions from other experts, looking at what considerations and practices organisations must adopt to ensure responsible innovation, and how humans can best complement this rapidly developing technology.

Download your copy of SAS’ report, AI & Responsible Innovation: What’s Next?

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