To let a product reach its right market, companies have been using the customer information to generate the right results. Knowingly or unknowingly, customers too got used to this process. However, the updates in technology have changed the entire market scenario. With the rise of artificial intelligence and data mining concepts, it has become easier for businesses to collect consumer data and process it to derive results. However, the increasing use of this poses a threat to the privacy of consumers.
How Artificial Intelligence is Hazardous for User Privacy?
With the invention of smartphones and mobile apps, it has become much easier to reach the target audiences. As the number of smartphone users has reached 3.2 billion, mobile apps are easily able to collect and store data from users without having to stretch a leg. But this has raised a big question on the protection of user privacy and whether the user is really comfortable sharing all the information.
As the databases are the central point where all user information gets stored and later fetched for processing, the security of these databases is questionable also. Moreover, if the information gets leaked during this entire process, it can easily be used against the user by hackers. As the use of data collected from users has become mandatory for businesses, it poses a great threat over the expose of users’ confidential information that can be used against him/her with malicious intentions.
Artificial Intelligence Ethics
Artificial intelligence has gained quite a popularity among businesses. The innovation that leads machines to complete human tasks has tingled the entire business industries and hence, the implementation of the same is increasing. However, to train a machine to complete all assigned tasks, it is important to train it using existing data and predict outputs that can further help in delivering efficient solutions.
The increasing interest of businesses in implementing AI-based solutions has led the users to concern better about their security and privacy of data as research indicates a significant rise in concerns as 67% of all internet users are asking for strict privacy law enforcement on online businesses.
There is no control of humans over how an intelligent machine puts the information in use, agreed. However, this situation should not promote or support the use of information unethically. And hence, AI ethics enter the picture.
Ethics are basically policies, rules or limits that define the safe and protected use of any information. In the case of AI ethics, it becomes difficult as machines do not understand any boundaries and there are no humans responsible behind the unethical behaviour. And this makes AI ethics a more complex topic to work upon.
Focusing on the primary purpose here, AI should do good for humankind. It has to do. Therefore, there are no boundaries to draw nor any regulations to make. But we can ensure the machines do not invade the privacy of any user worldwide, intentionally or unintentionally.
Is It Ethical? A Practical Use Case of AI Ethics
Facial recognition software has redefined security measures. The power of unlocking your devices by just a look has surely excited users and the implementation of it has been appreciated by many but a recent case in the face recognition tools has questioned the ethics implemented.
A very controversial face recognition tool was launched that gained the attention of everyone and also labelled a great question mark on the actual ethics of AI. An artificial intelligence-enabled tool that claimed to predict the sexual orientation of every person from their photo was trapped into quite questionable circumstances by the majority of communities.
While used for research purposes, this tool can excellently serve the scientists, if used out in the wild can certainly raise issues that are hard to resolve. The ethical review of this tool questioned its impact on the vulnerable groups that may face several problems. While there is no one to blame, neither the algorithm nor the creators, the use of such tools can be done extensively even for discriminatory purposes.
Therefore, deriving whether the applied AI is good or not, it requires an entire panel to view and check it from every single perspective to ensure no harm is done by the intelligent system. There are other perspectives to this than just possible discrimination.
As artificial intelligence is powering most of the workforces and tasks, the reduction in available jobs is natural. The development of machines performing manufacturing tasks precisely has entirely wiped out the need for expert staff and it has significantly reduced the number of total jobs.
As the decrease in available jobs in one industry has increased in another, the gap between these two is very ironic and ultimately concludes to fewer job vacancies. Therefore, increasing the standards of living and impacting the job requirements simultaneously, it becomes difficult to judge it on the right scale. And the same happens in the case of user privacy.
AI Invading User Privacy: Fruitful or Not?
To serve customers excellently, AI-enabled devices are constantly using sensors to detect any change in the environment and fulfil the demands accordingly. For example, if a smartphone has an uber clone app for ride-hailing in it, the app will be sensing the user location through GPS to provide them with excellent services. This functionality does not ask whether the user is comfortable with the same or not.
It stores the data of users in the database to later introduce offers on their daily deals and provide benefits while also earning more. Hence, it becomes necessary to know when to stop. Continuous updates in the Android and iOS app platform policies have brought up significant changes as the users can now control the data collection and can pause it any time they want.
At times, it may seem that it is beneficial as the systems are putting the same information in the good use and providing better options than ever, but putting a limit on these privacy-invading systems is also necessary to save from possible chances of unethical use of collected data.
Summing Up: Ethics and Their Implementation
As for now, there are no rules on the use of artificial intelligence on the user data in the market. However, observing the progress of this technology, the future will surely introduce a set of rules or ethics to be followed by businesses when building software implementing AI concepts. The use of these ethics should be enforced to save from any potential harm a business or a user will possibly suffer.
The concept of AI ethics is still fresh. That means, it will evolve over the passing time and the final output will be something extraordinary that will surely limit the invasion and usage of artificial intelligence in the lives of users.