Generative AI holds immense promise, and is set to be one of the transformative technologies of our time. But as with any new technologies, there are understandable concerns around its output.
Also known as large language models (LLMs), one of the most significant concerns is the potential for biassed outcomes. Since LLMs are, for the most part, trained on data from the internet, they are exposed to both the useful and the harmful aspects of human language and opinion. This means LLMs can inadvertently learn and reproduce biases present in their training data. As a result, AI-generated content may sometimes reflect prejudiced views, stereotypes, or offensive language.
The core of this issue draws back to how organisations are looking to implement generative AI models. Like what autopilot is to commercial pilots, generative AI models are intended to assist rather than replace human input and oversight. Autopilot is a helpful tool for pilots, but it cannot replace the awareness and engagement of a human pilot to ensure the safety and success of a flight.
That is why we should ‘co-pilot’ with generative AI tools – using their capabilities to extract new insights and automate decisions, while also evaluating how such models are coming to their decisions.
Addressing Bias in AI
By identifying and understanding the limitations of large language models, we can make informed decisions about when to use their capabilities and when to rely on human expertise instead. This balance helps us harness the power of AI responsibly and ethically while maintaining the human touch essential for communication and problem-solving.
To mitigate the risks associated with bias, it’s essential to adopt a proactive approach in both AI development and usage. Here are a few strategies to help address bias in AI:
- Diverse Training Data: Ensuring that the training data for LLMs is diverse and representative of various perspectives can help reduce the risk of biassed outcomes. By incorporating a wide range of sources, cultures, and opinions, LLMs can be better equipped to generate content that is more balanced and less prone to bias.
- Regular Monitoring and Evaluation: Continuously monitoring and evaluating the content generated by LLMs is crucial for identifying and addressing bias. By keeping a close eye on AI-generated content, we can identify potential issues and make necessary adjustments to the AI model, improving its performance over time.
- Human Oversight: Human expertise and judgement are indispensable in the world of AI. By maintaining a healthy balance between AI-generated content and human input, we can ensure that the final outcome is not only accurate and relevant but also free from harmful biases.
AI Safety Considerations
In addition to addressing bias, the topic of AI safety encompasses a broader range of concerns, such as data privacy, security, and the ethical use of AI technology. To navigate these challenges effectively, organisations should consider the following guidelines:
- Issuing Clear Policies and Guidelines: Establishing clear policies and guidelines for AI use within an organisation helps create a framework for responsible and ethical AI deployment. This framework should address aspects such as data privacy, security, and compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Putting Transparency and Explainability First: Ensuring that AI systems are transparent and explainable is essential for fostering trust and understanding. Users should have a clear idea of how an AI model works, its limitations, and the rationale behind its decisions. This transparency enables users to make informed decisions about when to rely on AI-generated content and when to rely on human expertise.
- Prioritising Education and Awareness: Promoting AI literacy and awareness within an organisation helps build a culture of responsible AI use. By educating users about AI’s capabilities, limitations, and potential risks, they can make informed decisions about when and how to utilise AI technology.
By addressing AI safety and bias concerns proactively, we can harness the potential of AI while ensuring their responsible and ethical use. As we continue to explore and develop AI technology, maintaining a focus on safety and fairness will be essential to realising its full potential and fostering trust in AI-human collaborations.