It’s been the buzzword lately especially among the US tech community. The big events are (1) Google’s AI ethics board has been cancelled, only after 10 days of existence and (2) Facebook’s faced another round of backlash on its biased algorithm (what’s new for Facebook) and being sued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that Facebook’s ads discriminate by race, gender and religion.
I used to not like the word ‘ethics’. I think it’s too subjective if you put laws around it. It should be everyone’s responsible to act in ethical manner. But I guess I was naive back then. It’s really not that simple and straightforward. In finance, there’s a reason why ‘ethics’ is such a big component of CFA curriculum which you need to pass. Asset managers want to filter out companies that do not comply with their ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) requirements. Governance is where your ethics play an important role.
Now not just finance. In the world of AI, industry leaders, VCs, regulators, tech employees, universities, essentially almost all parts of life as AI’s adoption increases are paying a lot of attention to this subject. I don’t think it’s a choice, it’s given. We can’t afford to ignore it. Yesterday, Fred Wilson also encouraged everyone to pay attention to AI and the impact on society, in his blog post.
It’s definitely an area that I’m interested in. Will talk more about it some other time.