The Ethical Dilemmas of AI: Balancing Innovation and Responsibility

The Ethical Dilemmas of AI: Balancing Innovation and Responsibility

15th Jun, 2024

Artificial Intelligence, popularly known as AI in routine vocabulary, has been the talk of the town for the last decade. However, the recent development in this field has made it further percolated into the discussion circles of all most everyone including the common man. 

There is no sector which has remained untouched with the growth of AI technologies.  Whether is the health sector or finance or education, you name the sector and you will find the footprints of rapidly evolving AI tools leading to disruptive innovations. The performance improvement and the rate of scaling up of production output, both have shown exponential growth with the interventions of AI tools and thus has brought AI to the forefront of every organization’s future plan.

Challenges posed to society by AI evolution!

Here comes another side of this story.

The ever-growing AI technologies have brought in social and ethical dilemmas with this. These technologies are taking away various levels of jobs in many sectors. Though the companies are growing with these technologies, their role of employment creators is getting hit due to these disruptions. 

Yes, this is equally true for any other technology which challenges the existing tools. However, the rate at which AI is doing this is beyond imagination. Societies are yet to cope with this. The adjustment in skill sets required for employments in AI era has been tremendous and people are falling behind in matching up to this pace.

Another aspect of it revolves around the ethical points. With the growing popularity of AI integrated tools in various sectors of work, ethical issues are popping up too. Deepfake, influenced data training leading to algorithmic biases, AI-driven cyber-attacks etc. are the two such menaces among the many.

Let’s discuss these three one by one.

  • Deepfake videos are in wide circulation and leading to misinformation in the advertisement field, influencing elections and also ruining the public reputation of individuals.
  • Manipulative data sets used for training are developing biased algorithms which pose severe challenges to society especially in the areas of national security, policy making and healthcare to name a few.
  • AI-driven cyberattacks are more lethal and can lead to destruction of the whole economy of any country leading to civil war like situations.

The above discussion has confirmed the fact that AI is a dual edge sword and hence must be used very carefully.

How to address these concerns?

To steer this cause, the role of government agencies and educational institutions is very important. At one hand, Government agencies should establish series of communications/discussions with all the stakeholders to identify the significant places in the existing regulations across various sectors of work which requires modifications to address concerns raised by the growing AI tools and on the other hand, education institutions play their role in spreading awareness about the ethical and social challenges posed by AI evolution.

Government role!

Governments should particularly focus on data privacy and strong legislation should be made to ensure full compliance with it. Once it is done, AI tools should be approved for use only after proving the source of data used for training of their algorithms. This will avoid any possibility of bias in the outcomes which may otherwise lead to serious consequences.

Apart from this, a new series of white-collar crimes being added due to evolution of AI tools like Deepfake, AI-driven cyber attacks etc. should be dealt with iron hands through due amendments to the existing regulations. An international consensus among the nations is also very crucial in ensuring compliance to these laws.

Additionally, Governments should invest in reskilling and upskilling of existing workforce to make the relevant in the ever evolving workspace in the AI era. Governments should collaborate with HEIs and industry partners for these training programs to impart new skill sets required for the new job roles created by AI technologies. Also, social security schemes should be made available to those affected by this disruption and need some time to get themselves upskilled. This will avoid any possible unrest among the society due to this drastic change in the job landscape being brought in by AI technologies.

HEIs role!

On the other hand, educational institutions especially Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should take the responsibility of spreading awareness among the future professional and the society at large about the social and ethical challenges of AI. HEIs should also have a mandatory course preferably as Open Elective for all its students on AI’s ethical & social challenges and its solutions. 

The NorthCap University (NCU) Gurugram, the leading multi-disciplinary university in the state of Haryana, has already acknowledged this need and has introduced Ethical Aspects related to AI into its B. Tech. CSE programme having AL & ML specialization. Apart from this, NCU is organizing regular workshops on spreading awareness about the ethical challenges AI technologies have posed to society.

Let’s conclude!

This blog doesn’t argue for any restriction on the research and development activities being carried out across various sectors. Rather advocating for adopting a more balanced approach between the innovations AI technologies bring in, and their social and ethical impact.

With timely interventions from government side and a responsible role played by HEIs and corporates, it is very much possible to strike the perfect balance which will ultimately lead to extracting the most from these AI technologies while restricting its risks.

Authored By

Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Gopaliya
Professor-MDE and Dean-Academic Affairs
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