Addressing ethical issues surrounding AI will always be work-in-progress and will need to develop, as AI itself evolves.
Imagine you’ve applied for a job or for a loan, and you’re told you’re unsuccessful. You’re curious as to why, and so you use GDPR legislation to request access to the information the company holds on you. You obtain your data – and at the same time, you discover that the decision was made using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that screened out your application for no obvious reason.
Or imagine this. You discover that AI is being used for surveillance purposes at your place of work – and also that your employer is collecting and processing data relating to your health history using AI algorithms. In neither case has your consent been sought or obtained.
In all these scenarios, it would be understandable if you felt pretty aggrieved. At the very least, it would damage the relationship you have with the organization employing the AI; at the worst, it might move you to consider taking legal action, and going public with your story.
In short, while organizations are increasingly taking advantage of the benefits of AI, they must simultaneously be mindful of the consequences of their behavior. A recent study by the Capgemini Research Institute has found that consumers, employees and citizens will reward organizations that proactively show that their AI systems are ethical, fair and transparent.
The “Why addressing ethical questions in AI will benefit organizations” study surveyed over 1,500 executives from large organizations across 10 countries, and over 4,400 consumers across six countries.
Developing a plan of action
The main findings of the study are perhaps obvious: that ethical concerns are deemed important by pretty much everyone who is served by or employed by organizations; that regulation is deemed desirable; and that companies are rewarded or punished in relation

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