In April, the European Union (EU) released a set of ethical guidelines regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by government agencies and businesses. The focus is on achieving trustworthy AI – technologies that act in a lawful, ethical, and socially acceptable manner while also being technologically robust.
Specific requirements were outlined by the EU, touching on core issues and concerns, such as oversight, safety, privacy, transparency, non-discrimination, accountability, and more. While the guidelines are not considered law, they do represent a framework for organizations who wish to create a trustworthy AI.
Additionally, the guidelines aren’t technically aimed at other nations, barring companies that may do business on an international level or organizations that interact with EU citizens. However, businesses across the world – including the United States – should take notice of this effort, as they represent a unique opportunity for global business.
The AI Umbrella
The AI umbrella actually includes a wide range of technologies. Natural language processing, facial and object recognition, deep learning, and much more all fall into the category.
While these technologies do certainly provide value – both from a corporate and consumer perspective – not all of the existing or theoretical solutions are without controversy. Issues surrounding surveillance and monitoring are often cited as concerns, as well as bias within AI systems.
The EU AI standards aim to provide companies and government agencies with guidance to help avoid certain issues with creating a new solution. Ultimately, the goal is to help organizations craft AI systems that provide a benefit while reducing the likelihood of harm – intended or unintentional.
How US Businesses Will Be Affected by the EU AI Guidelines
As mentioned above, the guidelines are not law. However, that does not mean that US-based companies shouldn’t review each point.
Several major companies have made headlines for autonomous systems or AI-based algorithms that would not meet the EU’s definition of trustworthy. Issues of safety, fairness, and accuracy have all been cited in various incidents, making many of the EU’s AI guidelines particularly relevant at this juncture.
Additionally, AI has a substantial amount of potential in a wide range of industries. As a result, more companies are exploring the capabilities of AI-based systems and solutions. Wider use could lead to numerous benefits, but only if the AI is ethical.
While most governments have yet to release laws dictating the use of AI or requirements for the creation of AI-based systems, it’s important to understand that they could be forthcoming. The EU guidelines may not be law, but they do serve as a solid starting point for initiating discussions on the matter and may become a framework for future regulations.
The EU intends to pilot the guidelines with a variety of organizations. By early 2020, they hope to gather feedback from companies and agencies to determine next steps.
Ultimately, the full potential of AI is still not known, and figuring out how to properly construct and control these potentially controversial technologies is challenging. However, the EU is taking active steps to steer organizations in the right direction and, if the pilot yields positive results, may even take more formal steps in the future.
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Coaching employees isn’t just about giving them constructive criticism and feedback. While that is certainly helpful, you also need to provide your team with guidance and support, and that requires more than just analyzing their performance.
Many managers shy away from coaching their workers due to fear. Worrying about whether the advice you are giving is sound is often a deterrent, and the pressure associated with providing an answer quickly can be anxiety-inducing.
Luckily, having all of the answers isn’t necessary. Instead, by asking the right questions, you can help your employee work through problems. If you don’t know what to ask, here are a few kinds of questions you should always have at the ready.
According to a recent study, over 40 percent of all IT professionals are interviewing for a new job, and they are currently employed elsewhere. A shocking 60 percent want to quit their job. While their reasons are varied, issues with management was a commonly cited motivator. Other causes include unequal opportunities, a lack of challenging work, and no recognition for their efforts.
If your company isn’t working diligently to keep you tech employees engaged and going the extra mile to make them feel appreciated, there is a decent chance they will move on to something else. Similarly, if the employee’s manager isn’t a source of inspiration, an ally in the office, or otherwise fails to meet your IT pros expectations, don’t expect them to stay for the long-term.
Luckily, there are things you can do to entice your tech pros into staying, allowing you to reduce turnover and keep your best and brightest on board. Here’s how to get started.
As technology becomes increasingly capable, it is easier to find more potential uses for various solutions. Recently, the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced a new tool designed to assist officers with reviewing police reports to find crime patterns that could indicate that the same person was involved in a string of offenses.
The program, which has been named Patternizr, could potentially assist in a range of investigations, saving time and valuable resources. While those some actions are currently completed by analysts, the task would be significantly less cumbersome if algorithms could manage much of the process.
However, some fear that such technologies cross a line. Many argue that programs like Patternizr could be unethical or might end up biased. If you are wondering whether we can or should use algorithms to catch criminals, here are some points to consider.
Many tech professionals would assume that switching to a new IT specialty wouldn’t be overly challenging. After all, they have a base level of technical expertise to draw from, so wouldn’t many of their existing skills be highly transferable?
While that is true to a degree, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some difficulties ahead. Changing IT tracks does take work, particularly if you are shifting into a tech field that is highly different from where your career is today.
However, just because it may pose a challenge doesn’t mean it is impossible. If you want to change IT tracks mid-way through your career, here are some tips to help you pull it off.
Companies have been using technology to monitor their employees’ activities for decades, but the level of tracking has increased dramatically over recent. Email can easily be scanned by IT, computer logs are saved for future review, and certain assets have GPS trackers enabled to keep an eye on their whereabouts. Add in social media reviews, text message scans, and reviews of meeting invites to see who attended, and companies can easily keep tabs on their workers.
However, while employee tracking seems to be on the rise, workers don’t appear to be incredibly concerned. This may come as a surprise in an age where privacy scandals continue to make headlines and legislation like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes more common.
While a corporate “Big Brother” may seem scary on the surface, employees aren’t treating it as such. If you are wondering why, here’s what you need to know.
Companies are fiercely competing for top talent, including highly skilled foreign workers. Much to the chagrin of American IT pros, some businesses have begun offering green cards to foreign professionals who are willing to come to the US through the H-1B visa program.
Some of these companies are simply offering green cards to foreign workers. Others are going a step further, beginning the process on behalf of H-1B visa holders during the first year of employment with the organization.
If you are wondering why businesses are taking this step, here’s what you need to know.
Having a sound and reliable search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is increasingly becoming a standard business practice. Ensuring current and potential customers can easily find your website can be critical and, the higher up you are in the ranks, the more likely you will attract new buyers.
Rising through the SEO ranks takes time and a lot of diligence. However, even if you are at the top of the list and have been so for years, you can lose it all if certain cyberthreats get their claws into your site.
If you want to protect your site’s SEO, here are three cybersecurity threats you need to defend yourself against.
Database administrators (DBAs) are highly focused professionals, and their tasks tend to be incredibly specific to their niche. However, the IT pros also have to be very adaptable, adjusting to new technologies when the situation demands it and embracing new tools to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. Plus, they are commonly asked to handle complex projects, such as migrating to a completely different database, which can be both challenging and time-consuming.
Ensuring your DBAs are equipped to handle everything their position entails requires effort on the part of management. You have to nurture their capabilities and mindset. If you want to make sure your DBAs can thrive, here are some tips you can start using today.
Groovy, a relatively new programming language, is beginning to make waves in the developer community. Over the past year, it has had a meteoric rise, going from 49th to 19th place in the TIOBE Index list of the most popular programming languages in the world.
With such a dramatic rise, does that mean it’s time to get groovy?