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Sage reveals five core AI principles for businesses to follow

The principles are laid out with the hope that tech giants will create safe AI systems.

By James Nunns

The rebirth of Artificial Intelligence has prompted many a commentator to speculate as to the ethical and moral makeup of the technology.

Some fear that the rise of AI spells doom for humanity, which has led to calls for the establishment of ethics and bodies to monitor the development of the technology and how it will be used.

One of those involved in addressing the ethical development of AI for businesses is Sage. The cloud accounting software firm revealed ‘The Ethics of Code: Developing AI for Business with Five Core Principles’ at the Sage Summit Canada.

The code calls for AI to be created to reflect the diversity of the users it serves. The aim is for industry and community to develop effective mechanisms to filter bias as well as negative sentiment in the data that AI learns from in order to ensure that AI does not perpetuate stereotypes.

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The second core principle is for AI to be held accountable alongside its users. Sage calls for users to build a relationship with AI and to start to trust it after just a few interactions. The idea is that trust breeds responsibility and AI needs to be held accountable for its actions and decisions.

“AI needs to be held accountable for its actions and decisions, just like humans. Technology should not be allowed to become too clever to be accountable. We don’t accept this kind of behaviour from other ‘expert’ professions, so why should technology be the exception,” said Sage.

Sage’s third code lays out the need for AI to be rewarded in order to help train AI to show it’s workings in order to help it to align with human values.

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Sage also believes that AI should ‘level the playing field’ by providing new solutions to those with sight problems, dyslexia, or limited mobility. The company calls on the business tech community to accelerate the development of new technologies to level the playing field and broaden the available talent pool.

The fifth and final principle is that AI will replace, but that it must also create. This refers to the opportunities created by the ‘robotification of tasks’ and the need to train humans for these prospects.

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Kriti Sharma, Sage VP of AI and Bots, said: “Building chatbots and AI that helps our customers is the easy part — the wider questions that the rising tide of AI bring are broad and currently very topical. Because of this, we developed our AI within a set of guide rails, these are the core principles that we believe help us to ensure our products are safe and ethical.”

“The ‘Ethics of Code’ are designed to protect the user and to ensure that tech giants, such as Sage, are building AI that is safe, secure, fits the use case and most importantly is inclusive and reflects the diversity of the users it serves. As a leader in AI for business we would like to call others to task — big businesses, small business and hackers alike — and ask them to bear these principles in mind when developing or deploying their own Artificial Intelligence.”

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