Artificial intelligence protects us from known and unknown threats, helps us connect to one another, and provides better answers faster and cheaper than humans do. But what about the unintended consequences that come with its use?
A new Insight from Bain & Company provides a list of risks to beware of when considering leveraging AI, among them:
- Unlike traditional rules-based programming, AI models are statistical representations of the world. They provide answers based on their learning, but they are imperfect. Consider autonomous vehicles—their training data is growing exponentially and the models based on it are improving, but errors in those algorithms continue to be discovered, sometimes only after loss of life.
- Overreliance on AI can lead to loss of skills, critical thinking, and understanding of the fundamentals of your business and what’s truly driving demand.
- The lack of transparency in algorithms raises concerns about bias, since any algorithm trained on historical data will make conclusions that reflect the bias present in that data. As these algorithms take on broader roles—setting a price on an e-commerce site, determining car insurance rates, making hiring decisions—a very real risk is simply repeating how things have always been done.
How can these risks be addressed?
Bain & Co. advises that top executives be involved in establishing the goals and limits around the AI used by their businesses. Every materially important algorithm should also have a product manager to review and test the algorithm, audit its outcomes, and assess and improve its performance.
See the full Bain & Co. article: “Tackling AI’s Unintended Consequences.”