As outlined in this chapter, applications of AI and other emerging technology are increasing rapidly. However, the advancement of these technologies also raises questions with respect to governance and regulations to its development. Concerns over ethical and privacy issues along with military development are among some issues to consider. Remember from chapter 9, ethics means a set of moral principles. There are several events that reiterate just how easy it is to exploit AI for unethical uses.
Example: AI and Privacy
Examples like the breaking of privacy laws by Google’s DeepMind and the failure to protect Facebook users’ personal data in the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal generated a lot of concern about the use of AI. In both of these examples, the data stored by the AI in DeepMind and Facebook was released to third-party users without the patients’ (DeepMind) or Facebook users’ knowledge or consent (Sinha, 2022).
Example: ChatGPT and Ethical Implications
ChatGPT is a conversational chatbot that was launched by OpenAI in November 2022. It can be used to produce written work as well as write code by responding to prompts or instructions. Following it’s release, news articles proliferated criticizing the tool over the ethical concerns of its use. Some concerns shared include the increased risk of misinformation, the ability to perpetuate bias, and its ability to impersonate individuals (Steinbeck, 2023, Jan 8). Academic institutions across the world expressed their concerns around the use of the tool for cheating. Some schools have even banned its use (Wood & Kelly, 2023, January 26).
However, despite the setbacks, AI appears to be an exponentially growing field. Today, because of the Internet of Things, data volumes have significantly increased since almost every device we use has the ability to gather and store data such as pedometers on our phones, thermostats, and voice assistants like Alexa or Siri. To keep up with these large amounts of data, AI has been upgraded to increase processing speeds and computational capacity. Nowadays, AI systems are much more efficient, widely available, and are easily accessible in contrast to their earlier developmental stages. With the rapid growth in the development of AI, it is important to consider the ethical implications of its use.
Ethical Implications of AI
“Module 1: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” & “Module 5 Societal and Ethical Impacts of AI” from Thriving in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Ontario Tech University under a Creative Commons Attribution license, unless otherwise noted.