Concerns raised over use of AI systems

19 January 2022 By Lauren Croft
Concerns raised over use of AI systems

Global business leaders are concerned over the use of artificial intelligence, a new report from international law firm Dentons has found.

Despite the fact that over 60 per cent of companies use AI systems, a new survey has revealed that there are a number of concerns over the decisions and omissions made by AI systems.

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Dentons conducted a survey of over 200 global business leaders on their organisations’ use of AI, as well as the risks and opportunities AI technology presents. While businesses recognise that AI can benefit organisations by saving time by automating processes, generating data-driven business information for decision making and reducing human error in processing, there were also a number of concerns brought forward.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents said that personal data protection was a “significant” concern, while 80 per cent of business leaders reported uncertainty over where liability sits for the decisions as well as omissions made by AI systems. However, only 55 per cent of businesses actually have data protection policies for both personal and non-personal data in place, and only 19 per cent of businesses have a strategy or roadmap for AI. This means that oftentimes, the technology is being implemented without proper consideration of the risks, the relevant legislation or the internal controls required to ensure it is well-governed.

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Robyn Chatwood, partner and head of the Dentons Australia technology practice, said that AI is fast growing in the Australian market.

“AI is increasingly becoming part of everyday life and we are seeing more Australian businesses pursue growth strategies that incorporate the implementation of these fast-developing technologies,” she said.

However, between 55 per cent and 75 per cent of survey respondents are unaware of relevant AI legislation in their country, and 63 per cent do not know which public body regulates the area. In addition, businesses are urgently looking to regulators to provide protection mechanisms on the use of AI in relation to privacy, consumer protection, criminal liability and intellectual property.

“Serious questions are arising about where the responsibility for good governance, regulation and compliance sits and it is imperative that we start a dialogue on the controls needed to protect businesses, customers, shareholders and communities. With the release of the Dentons AI survey we are calling for a system of ‘algorethics’ so that the right checks and balances can be put in place,” Ms Chatwood added.   

“Moral considerations need to become an integral part of the development of AI technologies, balancing business objectives with a focus on people. This is also a focus of the Australian government who released their eight principles for the ethical use of AI in 2019. CSIRO Data 61’s AI roadmap notes the benefits to the global economy of artificial intelligence are estimated to be AU$22.17 trillion by 2030.”

Concerns raised over use of AI systems
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