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Is Regulation the Key to Ensuring Ethical AI Development?

30th April 2024 | 1 Views

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What would happen if artificial intelligence became an unregulated part of everyday life? Artificial intelligence is a relatively recent technology that consists of machines being “fed” information and performing human-like tasks using said information. It has made some recent developments, used to compile information on different topics to summarize said information and generate ideas, pictures, and videos. It has been used for scientific research and by students to complete their assignments. It’s being used for self-driving cars as well. It is important to discuss said topic because artificial intelligence has become part of academic life. Although some may claim that artificial intelligence has made life more convenient in many ways, its use should be regulated because it can be used to worsen racism, it could mitigate harm to individuals and businesses, and it can also pose a danger to the privacy of the people.

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First, artificial intelligence can be used to worsen racism. The article “Racial Discrimination in Face Recognition Technology” on itn.hms.harvard.edu explains some problems that have appeared since using facial recognition in law enforcement and other related areas. In the article, Alex Najibi says, “Face recognition algorithms boast high classification accuracy… A growing body of research exposes divergent error rates across demographic groups, with the poorest accuracy consistently found in subjects who are female, Black, and 18-30 years old”CITATION Naj20 \l 1033  (Najibi, 2020). This indicates that facial recognition is not a reliable method to identify perpetrators. In the article, an example is explained: Project Green Light (PGL), in the city of Detroit, which installed high-definition cameras throughout the city. However, surveillance was mostly done in the majority African American areasCITATION Naj20 \l 1033  (Najibi, 2020). This indicates that unless its use is properly regulated, the use of facial recognition will intensify racism. In brief, the use of artificial intelligence, in terms of law enforcement, to identify people is currently not reliable and promotes racial bias.

Second, artificial intelligence can also pose a grave danger to people’s privacy. The article ” Racial Discrimination in Face Recognition Technology” also explains some privacy concerns related to facial recognition. Mr. Najibi states that when facial recognition software is used for law enforcement, they use a database containing mugshots and driver’s license images; they contain information about around half of American adults without their consentCITATION Naj20 \l 1033  (Najibi, 2020). This indicates that using facial recognition for law enforcement also poses a danger to people’s privacy. Furthermore, the article “How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did” explains how Target has used algorithms to figure out consumption patterns and even being able to determine whether a customer has a baby on their way. According to Kashmir Hill, the company stores information related to a customer’s expenses, and the algorithm can determine whether the customer is expecting a baby. Said algorithm proved accurate when an angry father complained about his teenage daughter getting coupons for baby clothes and cribs, and he later confirmed that his daughter was indeed pregnantCITATION Hil12 \l 1033  (Hill, 2012). This indicates that these algorithms use information in ways that customers are not fully aware of. Summing up, artificial intelligence has been used to collect data from people without their full knowledge, proving to pose a risk to privacy.

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Third, regulation of artificial intelligence would help to ensure that it is safe and does not cause harm to individuals’ financial stability. The article “Wells Fargo Predicts That Robots Will Steal 200,000 Banking Jobs Within the Next 10 Years” on forbes.com expands on how artificial intelligence is predicted to replace humans in the banking sector. Jack Kelly states, “Automated workforces have huge benefits for banks. While an employee needs lunch breaks, vacation and sick time, bathroom breaks, insurance and health benefits, robots do not”CITATION Kel19 \l 1033  (Kelly, 2019). This indicates varied reasons employers will prefer to replace people with artificial intelligence; it is important to mention that this wouldn’t be limited to banking jobs. Moreover, the article “What do striking Hollywood writers want? A look at demands” on apnews.com explains the demands the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) made during their latest strike. The article states that one of the said demands was the assurance of AI. The WGA had growing concerns about producers using artificial intelligence to write scripts, seeking safeguards around its usageCITATION Ass23 \l 1033  (Associated Press, 2023). This indicates that the unregulated use of artificial intelligence can threaten people’s employment. Thus, if the use of artificial intelligence isn’t regulated, it can prove to threaten people’s financial stability, since employers might favor replacing them with AI.

However, some may say that artificial intelligence has made life more convenient. While this is true, it has become a severe problem for education. The article “Potential downsides of AI in education” on prometheanworld.com explains diverse ways that artificial intelligence has negatively impacted education. The article states, “While AI can be an invaluable tool for learning, one of the biggest drawbacks that comes with it is the lack of interaction with real humans”CITATION Pro23 \l 1033  (Promethean, 2023). This indicates that since artificial intelligence lacks the human touch, it can be a major drawback when it comes to education since communicating effectively using an appropriate tone and body language is crucial to instructing people. The article also states that users’ reliance on artificial intelligence hinders their learningCITATION Pro23 \l 1033  (Promethean, 2023). This indicates that if the use of artificial intelligence isn’t properly regulated in education, it can end up making students fully dependent on it, affecting their critical thinking capabilities. Therefore, even if AI has made life more convenient, its misuse can seriously harm the education system and students’ learning ability.

In essence, even though some people say that artificial intelligence has made life easier, the use of artificial intelligence should be regulated because of its potential to intensify racism, threaten peoples’ economic stability, and create risks associated with privacy. When applied to law enforcement, facial recognition technology has shown to be unreliable and has encouraged racial bias. Without the people’s awareness, AI has been utilized to keep their personal data. Furthermore, if AI is left unchecked, humans may be supplanted by AI in place of them. Furthermore, using technology in some ways may potentially be detrimental to the educational system. Better regulation of AI can prevent numerous grave issues such as the ones listed above. People would feel more comfortable in their personal and professional life if AI were regulated.

Bibliography

Associated Press. (2023, May 3). What do striking Hollywood writers want? A look at demands. Retrieved from Associated Press News: https://apnews.com/article/wga-writers-strike-demands-d403f5b4666f20e2ce3e379bcaef5f2a

Hill, K. (2012, February 16). How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/?sh=66b340946668

Kelly, J. (2019, October 9). Wells Fargo Predicts That Robots Will Steal 200,000 Banking Jobs Within the Next 10 Years. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/10/08/wells-fargo-predicts-that-robots-will-steal-200000-banking-jobs-within-the-next-10-years/?sh=27ca5c6e68d7

Najibi, A. (2020, October 24). Racial Discrimination in Face Recognition Technology. Retrieved from Harvard: https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2020/racial-discrimination-in-face-recognition-technology/

Promethean. (2023, August 15). Potential downsides of AI in education. Retrieved from Promethean: https://www.prometheanworld.com/resource-center/blogs/potential-downsides-of-ai-in-education/

Juan Manuel Santana

@Juan-Manuel-Santana

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