How does AI Ethics help businesses go beyond doing what is ethical?

How does AI Ethics help businesses go beyond doing what is ethical?

How does AI Ethics help businesses go beyond doing what is ethical?

Verdas AI Team

AI Ethics: Going Beyond What is Right

In December 2023, following two years of investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), TESLA recalled over 2 million vehicles on U.S. roads. 

Covering nearly all their vehicles, the largest-ever TESLA recall occurred after NHTSA cited safety concerns over TESLA’s autopilot driver-assistance system. Where it was found to be insufficient in preventing driver abuse and could increase the risk of a crash [1]. Undoubtedly, the costs for such recall – both monetary and reputational – are monumental. And despite TESLA’s disagreement to NHTSA’s analysis, the NHTSA had found (among many) that “drivers are not always paying attention when the autopilot system is on”.

This example, one of many, demonstrates the importance of prioritizing and supporting Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics as part of AI adoption or development plans for businesses. Against the background of “unforeseen” AI technology misuse, perhaps in 2024, businesses would start to seriously reconsider the value of having a qualified AI Ethics team and framework to consult prior to their AI deployment.

Commonly placed under “ex-ante” approach to AI Ethics assessment, a qualified AI Ethics team and framework could assist businesses in identifying human misuses before their AI deployment. Especially during the designing and integration stage. In the process, help businesses to reduce possibilities of unnecessary business expenditures such as recalling, reputational damage, compliance risks, and lawsuits.

Additionally, human “misuse” of AI is not exclusive to TESLA. According to OECD AI Incidents Monitor (AIM), between October 2023 to December 2023, there were about 1763 incidents or article coverage of events related to AI [2].

One of the most recent editions to OECD AIM’s is on a ruling by the UK Supreme Court that rejected AI output as “patent worthy”. A ruling adjudicated after a US computer scientist attempted to profit from patenting AI output [3]. Albeit, this ruling is not necessarily considered as a “high-profile” incident, it is nonetheless a ruling that extends the theme of unforeseen misuse of AI by humans.

Unfortunately, this theme has not been appropriately addressed by businesses when we reflect decisions made by tech-giants in disbanding, devaluing, or completely dismissing their AI Ethics team and leadership over the past few years [4]–[6]

Considering these AI related incidents, it is perhaps possible in 2024, AI Ethics in its entirety could be “revalued” in similar vein of importance with all other AI developments and achievements. As AI becomes more ubiquitous in parallel with upcoming AI regulations, and with growing customer and market demand for ethical AI, it is argued here that businesses will have a tough road ahead if they believe AI Ethics as merely a philosophical discipline without any bearing on business profitability.

Ahmad Firdaus – AI Ethicist at Verdas AI

REFERENCES

1] David Shepardson, ‘Tesla recalls nearly all vehicles on US roads over lack of Autopilot safeguards’, Reuters, December 14 20223. [Online]. Available: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/tesla-update-software-autopilot-control-issue-2-mln-vehicles-nhtsa-2023-12-13/

[2] ‘OECD AI Incidents Monitor (AIM) October 2023 – December 2023’. OECD, Dec. 28, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://oecd.ai/en/incidents?search_terms=%5B%5D&and_condition=false&from_date=2023-10-01&to_date=2023-12-28&properties_config=%7B%22principles%22:%5B%5D,%22industries%22:%5B%5D,%22harm_types%22:%5B%5D,%22harm_levels%22:%5B%5D,%22harmed_entities%22:%5B%5D%7D&only_threats=false&order_by=date&num_results=20

[3] ‘AI cannot be patent “inventor”, UK Supreme Court rules in landmark case | Law-Order’, OECD, Dec. 2023. [Online]. Available: https://oecd.ai/en/incidents/58264

[4] Wes Davis, ‘Meta disbanded its Responsible AI team’, The Verge, Nov. 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/meta-disbanded-its-responsible-ai-team/ar-AA1k9MVq

[5] Cristina Criddle and Madhumita Murgia, ‘Big tech companies cut AI ethics staff, raising safety concerns’, Financial Times, Mar. 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/26372287-6fb3-457b-9e9c-f722027f36b3

[6] Rachel Metz, ‘Google is trying to end the controversy over its Ethical AI team. It’s not going well’, CNN, Feb. 2021. [Online]. Available: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/19/tech/google-ai-ethics-investigation/index.html

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Building a Values-Based Organization: Our Journey Together 🌟

Building a Values-Based Organization: Our Journey Together 🌟

Launching and steering Verdas AI has been a shared experience centered around our mutual values. Here’s a glimpse of how we’ve worked together to incorporate values into our operations, facilitate internal workshops, and align our values with the company’s mission.

Staying Connected Without An Office: The Power of Offsites!

Staying Connected Without An Office: The Power of Offsites!

🌟 Regular Offsites! 🌟

1. Strategic Discussions:
Setting aside dedicated time to discuss strategies, forecasts, and future plans can reignite team alignment and vision. It also provides an opportunity to raise concerns, ask questions, and delve deep into business objectives.

Building a Values-Based Organization: Our Journey Together 🌟

Building a Values-Based Organization: Our Journey Together 🌟

Building a Values-Based Organization: Our Journey Together 🌟

Verdas AI Team

Image description

Launching and steering Verdas AI has been a shared experience centered around our mutual values. Here’s a glimpse of how we’ve worked together to incorporate values into our operations, facilitate internal workshops, and align our values with the company’s mission.

Our Collective Foundation 🌍

From the outset, we’ve emphasized values over profits. Our core values act as our guiding light, influencing our decisions and actions.

Genuine Integration 💡

We don’t just discuss values; we live them as a team:

  1. Leadership By Example: Our leaders pave the way, manifesting our values in every action.
  2. Team Engagement: We actively involve our team, valuing their insights on how best to reflect our values in their roles.
  3. Values-First Decisions: Every opportunity and choice is assessed through our values to ensure cohesive alignment.
Internal Values Workshops 🤝

Our consistent workshops are instrumental in bringing our values to life:

  • In-depth Conversations: We dig deep into the essence of each value, examining real-world situations and how they tie to our work.
  • Inclusive Dialogues: We ensure everyone’s voice is heard, cultivating an atmosphere of inclusion and ownership.
  • From Talk to Action: We don’t just stop at talking. Together, we ideate practical ways to embody our values in day-to-day tasks.
Our Thanks 🙏

We’re all immensely proud of the Verdas AI family for wholeheartedly adopting our values. Together, we’re not just building a business but also making a positive difference.

Join the Conversation 🚀

To our fellow leaders: We invite you to share your approaches for establishing values-driven organizations. How do you bridge the gap between individual values and your company’s mission? Let’s learn from one another! 🌟

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Staying Connected Without An Office: The Power of Offsites!

Staying Connected Without An Office: The Power of Offsites!

Staying Connected Without An Office: The Power of Offsites!

Verdas AI Team

Verdas AI Team in Leipzig, August 2023

🌟 Regular Offsites! 🌟

1. Strategic Discussions:

Setting aside dedicated time to discuss strategies, forecasts, and future plans can reignite team alignment and vision. It also provides an opportunity to raise concerns, ask questions, and delve deep into business objectives.

2. Diverse Team Activities:

An offsite isn’t just about work! Team-building activities, cultural explorations, or just hanging out together can go a long way in strengthening personal bonds. These moments of fun and camaraderie are often the memories we cherish the most!

3. Exploring New Destinations:

Every city or town has its own charm. Meeting in different locations exposes the team to diverse cultures, cuisines, and histories. This not only breaks the monotony but also sparks creativity, inspiration, and a fresh perspective on things.

4. Efficiency and Inclusivity:

We also align our offsites with other activities, such as conferences, to make the costs as efficient as possible and to include more people in activities that would traditionally have been restricted to just 1 or 2 individuals. This approach not only fosters collaboration but is also cost-effective, especially since we no longer have a physical office.

Benefits? 🌱

✔ Better team bonding & understanding.

✔ Enhanced productivity post-meetups.

✔ Cultural growth and awareness.

In a world where remote work is becoming the new norm, such offsites are no longer a luxury but a necessity to maintain team coherence and enthusiasm. It’s an investment in the team’s mental well-being, cultural growth, and overall performance.

To all the businesses out there: Remember, a team that travels and learns together, grows together!

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