These Are The Ethical Implications Of Artificial Intelligence

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Despite the benefits AI has brought to our lives, there is still a number of challenges we need to find solutions for.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the face of the world. Despite all the advancements it has brought, the technology poses ethical and social implications which prompt the interest of researchers.

When technology expands it raises ethical questions such as Weapons, who will be allowed to use them; Press, what should or shouldn’t be published; Drones, up to which height should the be allowed to fly? Most of the times, the answers to these questions only come when the technology has already spread and the first issues have to be dealt with. Hence, as technology expands so does the harm it does. But how can we answer these questions beforehand? How can we change from a reactive to a proactive approach?

Well, first of all, the possible repercussions need to be figured out before they arise and this can only be done once we identify possible ethical issues prior to a technology’s distribution. However, the time to resolve these issues becomes less and less as technology is expanding exponentially. Even so, an open conversation between the public, researchers, and companies advancing technologies such as AI will help to overcome the ethical implications involved sooner.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the issues of AI in an effort to deepen the discussion around them:

#1 Misleading & False Information

Fake news mixed into accurate and fact-based news is considered the biggest threat to democracy. Much of this false information actually influences decision making as demonstrated with Russian hackers influencing the most recent US presidential elections, for example. Even an incredibly realistic fake video of President Obama was created through the advancement of computer vision technology. Incidences like these have led to the one main question of how institutions will address these threats in the future.

A recent study showed that fake news and information spreads almost 70% faster than fact-based news. Keeping in mind that the main motive for fake news is to influence decisions (e.g. political opinions) we are faced with the question of how to effectively differentiate fake news from actual information?

#2 Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one of the major concerns of companies, especially in the governmental and financial services sector. In 2015, a robbery took place in which around $1 billion was stolen from the banks in Europe, Russia, and China and around half a billion dollars were stolen from coin check. Through AI has the ability to protect and prevent these situations, it also makes companies more vulnerable by providing black hat hackers with sophisticated technology.

Various applications created with the help of AI are available so that companies can brace and prepare themselves for these threats. And, it’s not as complicated as you might think. Courses such as Hadoop’s Big Data Certification give a great overview of the advanced implementation of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning to better secure companies and their systems.

#3 Privacy & Surveillance

The presence of security cameras everywhere has created issues in regards to monitoring and inspection. Before the invention of facial recognition, even omnipresent cameras provided somewhat of a privacy simply because it was not possible to evaluate the entire footage collected. Now, it’s not only possible to surveil public places 24/7, it’s also possible to track and locate individuals based on their travel pattern as big amounts of data can be extracted in less time. Countries such as China already make use of this technology by monitoring people’s location with CCTV cameras. Moreover, China is also using facial recognition glasses which enable the gathering of real-time information. Increased safety and the reduction of crime rates are the greatest justifiers for the use of this technology. But will it not hamper an individual’s freedom and right to privacy?

#4 Unemployment

The industrial and scientific revolution has changed society. Today, the economic growth is remarkable. But in the 19th century, a group of Englishmen called Luddites destroyed weaving machinery to protest automation. Since that incident, the fear that Artificial Intelligence will cause a large number of people to lose their jobs has emerged- mass unemployment so to say. And yes, even today we see that painful and monotonous jobs are being filled by robots. PwC estimates that by 2030, 30% of all jobs will be automated. So, how will we deal with this? Will companies provide their future employees with the instruments and tools they need to adapt to this change?


Despite the benefits AI has brought to our lives, there is still a number of challenges we need to find solutions for. We need to discuss, debate and have ethical conversations about what Artificial Intelligence – or any other technology for that matter – means for the future of mankind. Not tomorrow. Now.



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