Author: Justin Birley
Artificial Intelligence, and the technology that accompanies it, has always had to endure the somewhat problematic issue of ethics. While it often increases the efficiency with which simple and not so simple tasks can he completed, it has proven difficult to set up checks and balances, ensure privacy regulations are being met, and that automation processes don’t go haywire. In this blog we’ll explore how the healthcare industry is particularly affected by the ethical implications of AI and seek to conclude whether there is scope for the widescale implementation of these technologies in the near future. We’ll also discuss IBM Channel Partners innovative role in providing secure systems and innovative platforms for developing ethical AI that look set to change the nature of this debate forever.
AI in Healthcare
Many of these questions have been at the core at the core of the recent healthcare debates. Hospitals are often understaffed, leading to issues with the quality of care, and most departments are often stretched to their limit or worse, significantly beyond that limit. Perhaps even more worrying is the fact that archaic technology and inefficient systems and processes are still rife within the healthcare sector. Nowhere is this more evident than in the NHS, with reports emerging that over 900 deaths a year can be attributed to poor NHS technology and systems. The report came after several warnings that the NHS was not meeting basic requirements for Cyber Security and that it was prone to extortion and malicious malware. This raises serious concerns over the viability of current technology and has led many to assert that AI and new technology, when implemented safely, can provide some much-needed respite.
But how do we use AI properly? How do we stop it from exacerbating the issues already present within so many systems? And, most importantly, how do we use it ethically?
The big issue is deciding whether AI will be assisting people or providing the decisions altogether. For example, who decides the underlying values and principles that govern the algorithms of the technology? Various cultural and scientific opinions can create perfectly ‘ethical’ systems that simply adhere to a different definition of ethics, creating a semblance of morality that is still fundamentally at odds with other definitions (read algorithms) of ethics.
Introducing AI into healthcare won’t get rid of uncertainty and disagreement over which action to take; if anything, it will promulgate these differences on a wider scale. The question is how do we manage these ethical questions and what frameworks must be set up to ensure that the underlying moral criteria is being met? For example, for consumer goods, what is the weight of profits versus customer satisfaction and safety and who is responsible for that balance? Is it the consumer, the manufacturer, or an external regulatory body?
More than anything, these are questions we ourselves must learn to answer before we can rely on AI to implement these opinions. AI won’t remove the debate; we’ll still need to decide for ourselves what we, as a society, think is ethical and how AI can implement that fairly. As a result, more needs to be done to ensure that infrastructures are in place to provide the supporting network that AI needs to function ethically.
IBM and the future of AI
AI will continue to push innovation and development, allowing comprehensive systems to emerge, almost organically, from the big data that feeds our technology. For many developers and thinkers alike, IBM Channel Partners have become a crucial driver in the development and research into AI, which is underpinned by the increasing number of mobile Apps that make use of their wide range of API’s.
Not only does IBM provide a level of cyber security that is both unprecedented and reliable, but the infrastructure that governs the IBM Channel Partner platforms and systems provides a new level of data security and privacy that is particularly relevant for health techs and other sectors concerned with ethics. IBM’s major goal has been, and will continue to be, moving to a human-level of intelligence, which is where we’ll start to really see the widescale adoption of AI technologies in a variety of different sectors. As AI becomes more comprehensive and pervasive, we must ensure that systems are in place that build user trust and motivate innovation.
Vivolution is a big believer in that process. As a result, we’ve helped countless businesses and IBM Channel Partners connect in ways that push the possibilities of technology, cognitive decision making and AI closer together with healthtech scale-ups delivering innovative solutions. Contact us today for more information about the work we do and how IBM Channel Partners can help drive your AI and technological growth forward, in a collaborative and innovative approach.
Author: Mark Roger
How cognitive technology gives your business the edge
Cognitive technology is one of the most widely used tech phrases of the last few years. Often, businesses and market-leaders find themselves turning to cognitive technology for the answer to complex problems. This has led to the widespread integration of comprehensive software solutions with established business networks. As a result, it has become clear that those unwilling to evolve face the very real risk of lagging behind.
But what does the cognitive phenomena really mean for ordinary businesses? And how does it help you take the right business decisions? While it may seem like an arbitrary and, above all else, abstract concept, cognitive technology really can help your business solve real life challenges. The only challenge, however, is to find the right technology for the right problem. But before you can do that, you must understand the full scope, magnitude, and potential of these cognitive technologies. This understanding will help your business identify the right cognitive strategies for your situation and will help you to measure their impact on your growth.
The power of data
Data is just data. At the end of the day, it’s all just a bunch of numbers. It doesn’t mean anything until you transform it from an endless stream of figures into useful and relevant information. Oftentimes, it is this transition that businesses struggle with. Cognitive technology helps mould the raw potential of your data into measurable outcomes and configurable business decisions. Crucially, these decisions can withstand the volatility and unpredictability of the market, due to their strong cognitive and data-based foundation. Without cognitive technology, your data is static, and it is only these solutions that allow you to unlock the true potential (and power) of your data. Lastly, it allows you to take that vital step from analysing behaviour to predicting behaviour. After all, your data should work for you, not against you.
Putting the customer first
Not only will this allow you to make decisions that will enhance your customer experience, but it will allow you to put the quality of your product or service at the very core of your business. The data and information that you collect will inform you about potential improvements to your product and will allow you to anticipate customer needs before they develop. As a result, your product, data, and customer knowledge become intricately integrated within your workflow, allowing you to seamlessly develop your business based on trends, not just hunches.
Furthermore, IBM reports that deeper engagement is one of the primary advantages of moving towards a cognitive business. In-depth analytics and deep customer insights are just a few of the ways that a cognitive system, like IBM Watson, can allow you to discover who your clients really are.
Scale the right way
The impact that cognitive technologies can have on your workflow are limitless. They will transform the way you do business with clients and customers but will also revolutionise the way you deal with business decisions internally. This will allow you to streamline operational inefficiencies, giving you the opportunity to devote time and resources into research and development work. In turn, these long-term strategies will garner sustained and incremental business growth.
Your business future
Investing in your cognitive journey is an investment into the longevity of your business. For every second that you delay, there are other competitors making the jump. If you need advice on cognitive solutions or need help commercialising, growing, and developing your business, then please get in touch with Vivolution today.
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