Originally posted March 25, 2019
Microsoft will “one day very soon” add an ethics review focusing on artificial-intelligence issues to its standard checklist of audits that precede the release of new products, according to Harry Shum, a top executive leading the company’s AI efforts.
AI ethics will join privacy, security and accessibility on the list, Shum said today at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco.
Shum, who is executive vice president of Microsoft’s AI and Research group, said companies involved in AI development “need to engineer responsibility into the very fabric of the technology.”
Among the ethical concerns are the potential for AI agents to pick up all-too-human biases from the data on which they’re trained, to piece together privacy-invading insights through deep data analysis, to go horribly awry due to gaps in their perceptual capabilities, or simply to be given too much power by human handlers.
Shum noted that as AI becomes better at analyzing emotions, conversations and writings, the technology could open the way to increased propaganda and misinformation, as well as deeper intrusions into personal privacy.
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