Ann Skeet (@leaderethics) is the senior director of leadership ethics, and Brian Green is director, technology ethics, both at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Views are their own. This article original appeared on CIO.com and is reprinted with permission. © IDG Communications, Inc., 2023. All rights reserved. 5 Steps for Making Tech Ethics Work for Your Company.
Generative AI breakthroughs over the past year have crystalized a significant issue that IT leaders have long been aware of but few have addressed programmatically: tech ethics.
And the stakes are beginning to mount. Of 119 CEOs polled at the Yale CEO Summit this summer, 42% said they believe AI has the potential to destroy humanity within the next decade. Indeed, a report released by authors from Carnegie Mellon, the Center for AI Safety, and the Bosch Center for AI showed how easy it is to get around safety measures in recently released AI chatbots, causing them to generate harmful and dangerous content.
Confronted with the prospect of destroying civilization, tech leaders have proposed two paths: moratoria on development or legislative regulation.
Moratoria are unrealistic and regulation takes time to develop. Public-private partnerships necessary to build technologies safely and focus on the greatest of society’s challenges require months, if not years, to take shape, in part because companies do not decide to collaborate easily or quickly.