Building Ethically Responsible AI-powered Environments

Perhaps you’ve encountered before the entreaty for the “democratization of AI.” Generally speaking, democracy has a good reputation, but what does this mean in the context of technology and artificial intelligence, and what are the dangers of the alternative? Consider the words of Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist at Baidu research, who has called AI “the new electricity,” and you’ll begin to get a sense of what we mean. At the moment, AI (and machine learning and deep learning) tools are mostly in the hands of researchers, industry, large enterprises, colleges, and labs. AI presents distinct advantages to businesses who have access to incorporating it into their systems or products, improving everything from logistical efficiency to positive user experience and everything in between; by definition, those who can’t access or incorporate AI/ML are at a disadvantage. The democratization of AI is a term that, in a nutshell, means leveling the playing field by making the advantages of AI available to all, and it’s an important aspect of the larger project of the ethical development of technology.

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