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How to Ethically Engage AI Assistants

In Tech
August 20, 2021
How to Ethically Engage AI Assistants

AI-powered voice assistant technology has developed at a rapid pace in recent years, with the convenience and time-saving capabilities these tools offer to become all the more obvious as they become frequently used apps on millions of cellphones across the world. Beyond just our phones, these tools have quickly become integrated into many facets of our daily lives. As they become larger and more present in our world and begin to offer increasingly personalized offerings, it is important to remember that we as users have an ethical obligation to understand the implications these tools have and begin to make more informed decisions on their usage and placement in our lives. 

The primary concern around AI technology lies in data and algorithmic reasoning. It utilized these tools to make informed decisions on the behalf of users and developers. One cannot- and should not- forget that these tools are not just being built out on the consumer level, but also on the business side, as the development of automatic speech recognition and natural language processing services have become critical components in bolstering sales and understanding users. 

With examination into three main questions about the ethics of AI and voice assistants, users can being to come to a more critical understanding of what it means to use AI in an ethical manner. 

Are We Protecting User Privacy?

Users of virtual assistants across the globe are trusting their devices with more information than they ever have before. As many users begin to utilize these tools for everything from making purchases with shopping bots to protecting their homes,  AI systems are now recipients of vast swaths of consumer data that was previously untouched. 

For the companies and businesses operating these tools, it is essential that users are provided a clearer picture of what data is being used, what data is being saved, as well as information into how and where this data is being used. 

Is There Equal Access Across Users?

Unfortunately, as AI and voice-recognition technologies become exposed to increasingly large audiences, it is becoming more obvious that many of these tools were not designed completely neutral and unbiased, even if that was the original intent of the developers. 

Research has shown that AI systems are in fact developing many of the same biases of their human creators. For example, some users have found that voice-recognition technologies have had challenges understanding users who are not speaking in a traditionally US Midwestern accent. Additionally, some facial recognition technologies have challenges misidentifying people of color. 

For those who utilize these tools, it is important that they are aware of the potential faults and limitations in their software in order to ensure they are not treated unfairly or assume everything told to them by the tools is factual. 

Are Users Aware of What’s on the Other Side?

Although many users are incorporating AI technology into their lives on their own accord, some users are engaging with AI technology through service chatbots, which means the users themselves have no choice as to whether or not they are engaging with the services in question. 

While many people have no concerns around engaging with AI technologies, problems arise when theses users believe they are engaging with a human, when in fact they are talking with a bot. Additionally, When companies use bots instead of human employees without alerting users, it would represent a highly unethical breach of trust and privacy. It is extremely important that companies do not mislead users or customers with their use of AI, while users must remain vigilant and ensure that they adequately understand the extent of the services they are using. 

While there are some ethical concerns around the use of AI and technology, developing an understanding of the depths of these services will help keep you and other users of AI assistants safe and well protected. For more information on chatbots and AI technology stay tuned to Discover.bot!