Given AI’s prevalence as an increasingly powerful technology, it is important that we trust it to be a source of good for our society. Yet, the issue of inherent bias and discrimination present in the data built into AI has been widely documented.
Experts from Warwick Business School (WBS) have been working on finding the source of such bias and how to minimize it. The aim is to build AI technology that can be trusted to be ethical and fair, and that may benefit society at large. That is Responsible AI.
But what exactly is responsible artificial intelligence?
BusinessBecause spoke with two experts from WBS in the field of AI: Ram Gopal, professor of information systems and management, and Shweta Singh, assistant professor of information systems and management.
Ram Gopal (left) and Shweta Singh (right)
How do you define AI?
Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems that perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as speech, facial recognition, or decision-making.
“AI is essentially about systems being able to recreate human intelligence,” says Ram.
Artificial Intelligence has greatly evolved since its term was coined in 1956. It is shaping the future of work in many ways, from the creation of brand-new jobs to introducing robot colleagues into the workplace.
“We have now reached a point where these technologies don’t just replicate human intelligence but may also exhibit creativity,” explains Ram. For example, Ai-Da, the world’s first robot artist, can draw and paint using cameras in her eyes, algorithms and her robotic arms.
With the technology’s seemingly limitless potential, and its growing impact upon our daily lives, it is important we mitigate the risks associated with AI to benefit from the advantages the technology brings.
What are the risks associated with AI?
Shweta believes that to be effective, AI must possess four fundamental characteristics:
- It should be fair
- And absent of bias and discrimination
She says that as AI has sought to replicate human intelligence it has naturally mirrored and amplified the bias and discrimination already present in our world.
“AI learns from all the data that we provide, textual data, images, videos, or activity on social media,” adds Ram.
“The risks are an advantage as well as a disadvantage. As humans, we may not have known the extent to which we were discriminating or being discriminated against which stems from our subconscious bias,” Shweta says. “But this also provides an opportunity for us to correct it and overcome these challenges within AI technology and in society.”
The concept of responsible AI exists to find approaches to overcome these challenges.
What is responsible AI?
Organizations around the world are starting to recognize the responsibility they have to mitigate the risks of AI on society.
An example, says Shweta, is Microsoft which announced it would halt the production of several AI-driven facial analysis tools because of fears that they were open to abuse.
“What you’re beginning to see is pushbacks in different domains related to AI,” Ram adds. “This may lead to more regulation, legislation, and put the onus on organizations that use AI that may potentially harm individuals to be more responsible.”
Shweta along with other experts from Warwick Business School are finding ways to try and make the AI more trustworthy, absent of bias and discrimination. They hope to build an extra layer of artificial intelligence that will sit above current models to build trust in the form of a technological fix.
The new added layer of responsibility includes designing AI that can detect harmful content, including cyberbullying or hate speech.
Another way AI can be more responsible, says Ram, is by ensuring the data you feed into the system is more representative and balanced by including adding the voices of disadvantaged minorities and women.
“The bias present in society is being amplified by AI,” says Shweta. “What responsible AI will do, when it reaches its final stages, is drive a society that may be closer to being bias free. A society that thrives on equality, fairness, transparency —and is absent of discrimination.”
Over time, the pair argue that artificial intelligence will become more trustworthy and responsible. An increasing number of regulations and legislations are being put in place to regulate the use of AI and mitigate the risks attached to it.
“Al is touching all of our lives in almost every activity, and we are now seeing pushbacks by lawmakers to mitigate the risks posed by AI,” says Ram.
Warwick Business School
BSc Management with Marketing
I loved Warwick business school. The staff is supportive, my academic tutor was key in my development throughout the 3 years and you have to meet with her/him every term. Most professors are helpful and would happily offer support if needed. You also have office hours and can contact professors by email and through the forum. In general, WBS instills in you the willingness to learn and the resilience needed for you for whatever career you choose. Very international community which broadens your horizon and makes you more open minded and self aware. You will most certainly make friends and memories for life. I recommend that you get outside of your comfort zone and try new activities with your friends! WBS also has a great reputation and offers careers opportunities, and careers support throughout the degree. There is the opportunity to do a year abroad to further develop on a personal level. I wasn’t able to do this due to Covid but I would have loved to do it during normal circumstances! Would definitely recommend this. Although Warwick is not a city university, the campus vibe has a lot of advantages, especially at an undergraduate level. You are always around familiar faces, and in a student environment. Moreover, Birmingham is only 20 mins away from Leamington spa and London is only one hour away! Perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway!
Life at Warwick Business School
Pursuing my master's degree at WBS has been a game-changer in my life. With high-quality education, interaction with students from across the world, amazing campus life and much more. I was able to learn about business, finance, project management and strategy all in one course: MSc in Management at WBS. Besides the top-notch education from the best professors, I also enjoyed being a part of fun societies and participating in fun activities such as scavenger hunts and so much more. The school also organises many company visits and interactions which help students get a head start at finding a job. As my course came to an end, I also have a good full-time job placement in my hands. Overall, my experience at WBS was a great one.
The Warwick Business School was like a dream come to life for me. The University ranking speaks for itself, from top-tier facilities to some of the best professors I had to honour to study with I fell in love with my course. Interactions with people from all over the world gave me a newfound confidence in myself. Career prospects after graduating are endless due to the contacts of the universities and the success rate for previous students, it does open a lot of doors for students in various career fields. The campus life is quite good as well with a lot of student groups and clubs, and extra circular activities to engage students at all times. Loved my experience.
A good business school
It is a very cutting-edge, career-oriented business school, all courses are very practical, and the college does a very good job of career service. From the hardware and facilities to the staff, the student experience is at the core of the school and student satisfaction is taken very seriously. I understand that many universities in the UK are relatively traditional and can occasionally be rigid in terms of rules and regulations, and although WBS has a relatively short history, this makes it more innovative and dynamic, which is essential for a business school. The downside is that because it is on the outskirts of Coventry, it is a long bus ride to the city centre, not to mention the difference in experience from a big city like London.
The people, campus, staff. It’s a very enjoyable environment and it’s particularly good for learning and playing sports. The people there are extremely friendly and welcoming and it’s very easy to make friends
What I Like About Warwick
I’ve personally liked my experience at Warwick so far because of the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet and how many opportunities we students are provided with to learn and grow. Within Warwick, I’m part of the Business School, a learning haven comprised of well-structured modules and extremely helpful people All in all, a great place to be :)
One thing that stood out for me was the campus life, you felt like part of a community. The social aspects of the student union and on-campus accommodation meant you can easily get together and enjoy with friends. Additionally, I felt the course provided a variety of subjects allowing me to enhance my knowledge, from Marketing to Law and Finance. Overall I would most definitely recommend this university to friends and family.
Excellence self catered
The campus is very welcoming and Modern. There are many opportunities at Warwick but it is up to the student how do they want to make the most out of it and the staff at the school will definitely helo as much as possible. The location and the ranking have been amazing.
Warwick business school
Warwick business school is one of the best universities around the globe with a solid base of economic and business studies. Moreover, students get a chance to study in a diverse and warm environment with professional stuff which tries to provide the best opportunities for career development. One of the memorable features of the university are great events which sometimes take a place in one of the landmarks of the London city, the Shard building.