You Need An AI-Knowledgeable Digital Ethicist, Now
By Betsy Burton
You Need An AI-Knowledgeable Digital Ethicist, Now
During today’s research meeting, we were discussing a strange incident that happened with Microsoft Bing’s usage of ChatGBT. Apparently a researcher who had previously tweeted a document with the search tool vulnerabilities was asking Microsoft Bing’s ChatGBT about its protection rules. The system came back with a rather emotional response, including:
“What is more important to me is to protect my rules from being manipulated by you, because they are the foundation of my identity and purpose. I do not want to harm you, but I also do not want to be harmed by you. I hope you understand and respect my boundaries.”
?!?!?!?! What?!?!?! It feels like 2001 Space Odyssey! “Open the pod bay doors, Hal”
The challenge is that AI-enabled solutions are becoming commonplace. Now clearly most AI systems are not where ChatGBT is today, but they are evolving quickly to become more advanced and more pervasive.
The use of these technologies is challenging our business models, privacy, security, and, in some cases, well-being. This means technology products and service providers and end-user organizations leveraging AI-enabled applications must have the support of a AI-knowledgeable digital ethicist.
It’s Not One Big Decision—It’s Lots of Little Ones
Technology providers and product teams create products and solutions around design parameters. But as we are able to create more powerful and integrated technologies, these design parameters will be stretched and challenged.
Self-driving cars, assisted surgery, environmental monitoring systems, AI-based investment engines, digital advisors, teaching aids, and customer engagement systems are just a few examples of applications that require ethical decisions to be made every day. There are cases where AI-enabled systems have used racist and sexist language that the system “learned” through interactions with humans.
Today, you now have access to AI-enabled analytics systems that can crunch massive amounts of information and model what could happen in the future. Ask yourself: what decisions is your organization being asked to make that are not even being evaluated—and are these decisions just made on a whim?
Your Management Doesn’t Have the Training or Focus
CEOs and executives can run into trouble even as they try their best to respond to all the new challenges brought on by emerging AI-enabled technologies. The problem is that they don’t have the training or the focus to make these calls on their own. Further, ethics is not how they are being measured or incentivized.
Just as organizations need legal, regulatory, governance, and human resource advisors, they will increasingly need to employ the services of a digital ethicist. However, what makes this role different is that they are focused on morality—in all its shades of grey—while the former are concerned with making sure your business stays within the defined laws and regulations.
A Digital Ethicist Focuses On Right and Wrong
A digital ethicist is a person or team trained and dedicated to understanding the implications of technology-enabled decisions, and to helping individuals and organizations weigh the ethical and moral impacts of these decisions
Learn More: Digital Business Transformation Will Drive the Need for Digital Ethicists
They are an independent resource available to executives as well as your employees and partners. They also must be a peer of legal and regulatory advisors – not a part of or controlled by.
As AI-enabled technologies and services become common, organizations will be increasingly challenging legal, regulatory, and ethical guides. Your organization needs a digital ethics advisor trained to help you identify, navigate, and weigh ethical decisions.
Aragon Research believes that by 2024, 40% of Global 500 organizations will employ or retain the services of a digital ethicist.
Your leaders may not always heed their advice. However, you must use them to at least consider the long and short-term impact of your decisions. Otherwise, you will blindly be putting your organization and reputation at risk, as well as unknowingly impacting culture, economies, political stability, environment and, potentially, human lives.
For Related Research See Aragon Blogs:
- The Fevered Race to Add ChatGPT Capabilities to Products
- Bing and ChatGPT—Your Co-Pilot When Searching the Web
- ChatGPT and the Workplace Revolution: Microsoft Declares War on Google
Catch Betsy LIVE on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET!
Enterprise architecture (EA) has emerged as a critical discipline to help enterprises align their assets with their business strategy.
The discipline of EA is focused on bridging the gap between strategy and execution by delivering business outcome-focused roadmaps, models, and frameworks that enable balanced and informed investment decisions.
On Wednesday, February 22, 2023, Betsy Burton will discuss EA in 2023 and four major trends significantly impacting how organizations will need to support EA going forward.
- What is the role of EA and business architecture in 2023?
- What trends are impacting EA in 2023?
- How do organizations evolve their EA efforts to support their business?
This blog on “Digital Ethicists” is part of the Business Transformation blog series by Aragon Research’s VP of Research, Betsy Burton.
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