Artificial Intelligence And Ethical Implications

December 14, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

A concept that would have seemed like nothing more than an oxymoron not too long ago is now one that is commonly used: Artificial Intelligence (AI). But like any trend, it can carry its own drawbacks.

In his book “Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society” John Browne, writing with Robin Nuttall and Tommy Stadlen, praises AI but cautions that there are serious challenges associated with it.

These challeneges mean nonprofits should foster open debate about ethical and practical concerns and work closely with government to prepare the workforce for a very different future. The challenges include:

  • Paper robot. This refers to, in essence, the delegation of corporate decision-making to intelligent machines by companies that truly do not understand their electronic companions. Computers and software already act in ways we do not understand, possibly causing mistakes human cannot know about or comprehend. That could get even worse.
  • The jobs compact. The automation of knowledge work raises the possibility that unemployment could rise significantly in specific, politically sensitive parts of the economy. If that happened, the most important bond between companies and the population would be sorely tested.