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Report: Responsible AI Insights and Tips for Investors

AI Report | Jun 21, 2024

Responsible AI Playbook for Investors WEF cover - Report:  Responsible AI Insights and Tips for Investors

Image: Responsible AI Playbook for Investors, (WEF and CPP)

Investor Insights from the WEF's Playbook on Responsible AI (RAI)

The "Responsible AI Playbook for Investors," published by the World Economic Forum, provides crucial guidelines for investors to navigate the ethical, legal, and social implications of AI investments.  Investors should apply due diligence through a responsible AI framework or set of guidelines to avoid the most common AI challenges around lack of governance, data bias, explainability, privacy/security, and sustainability.

1.  Effective Governance is the Bedrock of RAI

Investors must build strong governance mechanisms to assure responsibility across the AI lifecycle. This includes creating thorough rules that establish ethical standards and compliance requirements, guaranteeing board monitoring, and including diverse stakeholders in order to foster trust and uphold ethical norms. Governance frameworks that prioritize accountability and openness can help to reduce risks and build confidence among stakeholders.

2.  Fairness and Inclusivity with Diverse Datasets and Routine Audits

AI systems must be developed to promote fairness and diversity, while also addressing potential biases in data collecting and algorithm design. Regular bias audits and increasing diversity across AI development teams are critical measures. The playbook emphasizes the need of inclusive AI, showcasing how technology can benefit excluded populations while ensuring equal outcomes. AI systems educated on diverse datasets and routinely evaluated for biases can cut discriminatory outcomes by half.

3.  Transparency and Explainability Boosts Trust

Transparency and explainability are critical for building trust in AI systems. Investors should prioritize AI solutions that offer clear explanations of their decision-making processes. For example, Google's Explainable AI (XAI) initiative emphasizes the importance of making AI algorithms more interpretable, which improves user trust and system reliability.  65% of consumers are more likely to trust AI systems that provide clear and understandable explanations for their decisions.

4.  Privacy and Security is Essential for Adoption

Protecting user privacy and data security are critical to responsible AI implementation. Implementing strong data protection rules and conducting frequent security assessments are crucial steps. Apple's use of differential privacy measures establishes a high standard for safeguarding user data while providing valuable insights. Data breaches cost businesses an average of $3.86 million each occurrence, emphasizing the necessity for strong security measures.

5.  AI Solutions for Sustainability (and Social Impact)

AI has the potential to drive sustainability and positive social impact. Investors should support AI initiatives aligned with environmental and social goals. AI solutions in energy management can reduce carbon emissions by up to 20%, showcasing the technology's potential for significant environmental benefits.  Responsible AI can significantly contribute to sustainability goals by reducing carbon emissions and improving resource efficiency.

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Image: Freepik

Tips on Embracing Responsible AI

Asset managers frequently express doubts regarding RAI due to worries about disruption, additional costs, and perceived value. Here are some practical strategies for learning and embracing RAI:

  • Tip 1:  Balance Advocacy and Adaptability

Investors must find a balance between advocating for responsible AI practices and adapting to changing environments. This entails staying on top of regulatory developments while fostering effective self-governance structures that address stakeholder concerns proactively.

  • Tip 2:  Navigate Global Laws and Regulations

There is a need for clarity and certainty around prospective regulatory regimes and applications of the law. Investors and companies are looking for standards and frameworks to help them navigate this difficult market with confidence.

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However, waiting for clarity is no reason to postpone the RAI journey. Companies and investment partners gain when investors communicate their minimum standards or limits.

  • Tip 3:  Understand the Intersection of RAI and ESG

While AI and RAI may become part of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards, many investors regard these concepts as different. The politicization of ESG has hindered any potential association between the word and advancing Responsible AI. Regardless of label, AI is a developing business risk and potential that will determine the long-term viability of businesses.

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Boards should monitor the integration of RAI into management's strategic planning and operational execution, as well as require market disclosure where AI adoption, development, and application are significant.

  • Tip 4:  Address the Tension Between RAI and Corporate Imperatives

The tension between RAI and corporate imperatives, such as speed to market or short term profits. It is important that investors acknowledge this tension and explore ways to address it by shifting expectations around short- versus long-term value creation. Investors with certainty of capital, such as pensions, are better able to weather short-term volatility and take a long-term approach.

  • Tip 5:  Promote Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Asset owners may struggle to communicate their expectations to asset managers and organizations. Directors may lack the necessary skills to effectively manage AI risks and potential. Therefore, investing in education and capacity-building initiatives is essential to keep pace with AI advancements.

Outlook

Investors who emphasize RAI will not only reduce risks, but also open up new avenues for innovation and long-term value development.

See:  Considerations for Evaluating AI Startups in 2023

By incorporating strong governance, maintaining transparency, fostering diversity, and adhering to privacy and security standards, investors may help design a future in which AI benefits all stakeholders.


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