With great power comes great responsibility.” What can be said of superheroes can also be said of the robust data organizations have the opportunity to harvest on their stakeholders. With CIOs at the helm, they are in a unique position to be gatekeepers of the future of data and AI use within their organizations.
Earlier this month, the CIO Advisory Council, comprised of CIOs across the globe brought together by Experis, discussed the future of AI data and ethical use.
AI Gray Area
The general population’s tolerance for privacy for the sake of convenience is evolving, and expectations around privacy in the workplace are loosening as digital natives enter the workforce. Throughout our daily lives, suggestion engines monitor our digital movements to offer recommendations, our car’s digital dashboards tell us the fastest route to the office unprompted, and Microsoft Teams pushes productivity reports. But, within this cost/benefit gray area where does the line exist? In the absence of regulation and policy, CIOs must keep a pulse on the changing public opinion and help advise on data solutions that drive progress while maintaining trust.
CIOs as Ethicists
Most organizations intend to be ethical and will design processes in that way; however, those organizations that are not ethical, simply won’t. The CIO Council agrees the key to ethical use of AI and data is to be transparent. When gathering data, organizations must be transparent about what the insights are being used for and why. The Council also weighed the benefit of establishing a data ethics board with representation from across the business for objectivity. Sharing accountability for sensitive data decision-making can serve as a safeguard to ensure the what and why has been thoroughly vetted and is determined to be a benefit to the organization’s stakeholders.
Working in Tandem with AI
AI is not a replacement for human capital. AI can be used to reveal blind spots. It has a unique advantage in its ability to unlearn bias, something even the most well-intentioned humans struggle to do. People have the experience and by applying the data and insights from AI, organizations can make better, more informed decisions through a balance of human and tech.
Although vast amounts of data have been collected in recent years, we are just beginning to harness the data that is available to us. As we attempt to move past gathering and begin to synthesize the data, glean insights from it, and finally take action as a result of those insights, it is incumbent on the CIO to consider the longer-term ethical implications – not just of what the tools are capable of today, but also how they could be used (for good or evil) in the future.
The CIO Advisory Council exists to help technology executives solve tech talent challenges faster and better through the power of peers. If you are a CIO/CISO leader and would like more information about joining the CIO Advisory Council, please contact Cesiah Kessler at Cesiah.Kessler@experis.com.