Helper not hindrance: Why AI should work with us and not against us

Helper not hindrance: Why AI should work with us and not against us
02 May

It’s easy to overlook the fact that AI solutions, like people, are intelligent. AI technologies can learn and act autonomously, and they are already managing our supply chains and approving our bank loans. AI is much more than just a technological tool, it has grown to the point where it often has as much influence as the people putting it to use.

Research from Accenture’s Technology Vision 2018 report indicates that Australian attitudes and perception of AI are evolving, with 42 per cent of Australian executives believing AI will completely transform their industry in the next three years, nearly double the global figure of 23 per cent.

Therefore, as AI expands further into our society, the need to raise responsible AI is crucial. A brand’s customer and employee trust could potentially be damaged, if their AI fails to uphold a set of company values expected by society. Accenture sees deploying AI as more than just training it to perform a given task but in fact ‘raising’ AI to have the same values as a representative of the business, and a contributing member of society. This is what Accenture calls ‘Citizen AI’.

AI systems learn, they make autonomous decisions and they have grown from a technological tool to being able to coordinate and collaborate with humans. According to this year’s Accenture Technology Vision report, four out of five executives (81 per cent) believe within the next two years, AI will work next to humans in their organisations, as a co-worker, collaborator and trusted advisor. If society approaches AI with an open mind, the technologies emerging from the field could profoundly transform society for the better.

An example of Citizen AI being used in society is Hello Cass, a domestic violence chatbot developed by Melbourne based social enterprise Good Hood which is designed to support people affected by family and sexual violence. Similarly, Accenture helped the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees develop a biometric identity management system (BIMS) that verifies the identify of refugees. The AI-powered technology captures and stores fingerprints, iris data and facial images of individuals, providing undocumented refugees with their only personal identity record.

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