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Mains Marathon

  • 01 Aug 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    Day 22: What are the ethics of Artificial Intelligence? Illustrate its significance in light of UNESCO global agreement of AI. (150 words)

    • Start Your answer by explaining the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ethics in AI
    • Mention the issues related to AI
    • Mention the significance of UNESCO global agreement of AI
    • Conclude your answer by mentioning AI and UNESCO global agreement of AI


    Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.

    AI ethics is a system of moral principles and techniques intended to inform the development and responsible use of artificial intelligence technology. As AI has become integral to products and services, organizations are starting to develop AI codes of ethics

    An AI code of ethics, also called an AI value platform, is a policy statement that formally defines the role of artificial intelligence as it applies to the continued development of the human race. The purpose of an AI code of ethics is to provide stakeholders with guidance when faced with an ethical decision regarding the use of artificial intelligence.

    Issues with artificial intelligence

    • Lack of Accountability and Liability: Currently AI companies do not follow any universal procedure for AI development and are not answerable to anyone which raises a serious issue of accountability.
    • Loss of Human Decision-Making: Earlier humans were the sole decision makers in matters related to day-to-day life but now it is AI which is taking most of the decisions on the behalf of humans
    • Bias and discrimination: Biases in facial recognition technologies have led to wrongful arrests. These challenges are not surprising when we look at how AI is developed. Only one in 10 software developers worldwide is a woman. These women come overwhelmingly from western countries.
    • Negative impact on vulnerable groups: As the people from the downtrodden section are unable to access the technology due to the cost factor or lack of resources it leads to their further destitution which raises the question of inequity.
    • Reduction of human contact: The development of AI has reduced human interactions as most of the works are now can be done using pre-defined algorithms. It is slowly and steadily leading to de-humanization or mechanization of the human mind which is devoid of emotions.

    Significance of UNESCO global agreement of AI

    • Human Interests first: It aims to fundamentally shift the balance of power between people, and the businesses and governments developing AI.
    • Universal Consensus: The countries which are members of UNESCO have agreed to implement this recommendation by enacting actions to regulate the entire AI system life cycle, ranging from research, design and development to deployment and use. This means they must use affirmative action to make sure that women and minority groups are fairly represented on AI design teams.
    • Proper Management of Data, Privacy and Access to Information: The Recommendation also underscores the importance of the proper management of data, privacy and access to information. It establishes the need to keep control over data in the hands of users, allowing them to access and delete information as needed.
    • It also calls on member states to ensure that appropriate safeguards schemes are devised for the processing of sensitive data and effective accountability, and redress mechanisms are provided in the event of harm. All of this takes enforcement to the next level.
    • Reduce Socio-Cultural Impact: Additionally, the broader socio-cultural impacts of AI-related technologies are also addressed, with the Recommendation taking a strong stance that AI systems should not be used for social scoring or mass surveillance purposes.

    The new agreement is broad and ambitious. It is a recognition that AI-related technologies cannot continue to operate without a common rulebook. Over the coming months and years, the Recommendation will serve as a compass to guide governments and companies to voluntarily develop and deploy AI technologies that conform with the commonly agreed principles it establishes.

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