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Ethics of Artificial Intelligence: Responsibility is mandatory

Artificial intelligence has become part of our daily lives and its advances are increasing every day. However, have you wondered about the ethical responsibility behind its use?
Por: Álvaro Guerrero | Business Developer en Start-Up Chile
25 · 05 · 2022
5 min



At this point in time, we are aware of the impact that Artificial intelligence (AI) has in our lives and the central role it plays in companies, governments, and the overall functioning of contemporary society. AI is everywhere: in facial recognition, social media, digital voice assistants, banking systems, e-commerce, therapeutics, robotics, entertainment. The list goes on and on.


It is undeniable that AI has come a long way and the potential for this technology is tremendous. Or, as our lovely entrepreneurs like to say when pitching, “the market is huge!”. In fact, Ark Invest’s report “BIG Ideas 2022” forecasts that AI will generate equity market returns for USD 108T by 2030, growing at a 26% compound annual growth rate from the USD 10.5T generated in 2020. This makes sense considering that AI is at the center of disruptive technologies that are changing the world, playing an important role in the development of other technologies including blockchain, genomics innovation, autonomous mobility, among others.


It is interesting to find out that, as AI and computer power continue to develop, some of the critical challenges that arise are very, well, human. The possibility of creating thinking machines raises a host of ethical issues, especially when they take on cognitive work with social dimensions and begin to execute social tasks previously performed by humans. 


One of the most widespread examples of an ethical dilemma found when applying algorithms is related to banking loans. This research found lenders, due to the use of algorithms, were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to white people with similar financial characteristics. Another area facing ethical challenges is the workplace, where AI is allowing robots to do more complicated jobs and displacing human workers. In many factories, humans already work alongside robots and there’s concern about feelings of displacement and the impact on mental health.


I would like to thank Shani Bennett, CEO & Founder of Queritel, for the interesting conversations that led me to become interested in the ethics of AI.

So . . . What can we do? 


As AI algorithms are applied toward more human-like activities, for instance finances and daily work life, experts recommend that these algorithms meet standard criteria like responsibility, transparency, auditability, incorruptibility, and predictability. It is similar to what we can expect from any set of rules applied to the entire society, such as the law. 


If we don’t want to find ourselves in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world where machines are self aware and decided to rebel against humanity (Skynet, if you are reading this, I am on your side), it is crucial that stakeholders involved in AI development take action in the ethics of the AI field. Or less severe than this scenario, we should take this topic seriously if we want to make sure that this powerful technology serves humanity’s wellbeing.


Of course we run into the problem of defining what is ethical and what is not, what is fair and what is not, but that is a topic for another article or for a whole branch of philosophy and cultural studies.