The Excitement, Concern, and Ethical Considerations of Utilizing AI

**IEEE Standards Activities work on Ethics and AI**

At the Reuters Thompson Momentum conference in Austin, Texas, I moderated a session on managing consumer perceptions and AI experiences. The panel included industry experts such as Sandeep Dave, Sri Shivananda, Lauren Kunze, and Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld. In this session, we discussed various aspects of AI, including its potential, challenges, and ethical considerations. Throughout the discussion, we emphasized the importance of understanding AI’s operation and ensuring its responsible use.

**IEEE’s Involvement in AI and Ethics**

As a representative of IEEE, I highlighted the organization’s work on AI applications and the promotion of responsible practices. IEEE hosts conferences and publications that focus on the technical and practical aspects of AI. In addition, the IEEE Standards Association (SA) has dedicated efforts to address the ethics of AI. In 2016, the IEEE SA released the Ethically Aligned Design of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems report, and an updated version was released in 2019.

**Creating Standards for Ethical AI**

The IEEE has actively collaborated with policymakers worldwide to establish guidelines for the ethical use of AI. Several IEEE standards have been developed or are currently being formed, covering various topics such as data privacy, algorithmic bias, child and student data governance, and autonomous system transparency. Moreover, the IEEE SA aims to work with third parties to ensure AI practices align with evolving standards through certification processes.

**Insights from Panel Members**

During the session, each panel member shared their perspectives on AI’s capabilities and impact. Sandeep Dave, the Chief Digital & Technology Officer of CBRE, discussed the use of AI in real estate, highlighting its ability to unlock efficiency gains and make predictions related to market trends and asset failures. He emphasized the significant upside of AI across the real estate lifecycle.

Lauren Kunze, CEO of ICONIQ AI, expressed her thoughts on generative AI, cautioning that enterprises still need rules to avoid expensive mistakes. She cited a case study where H&M collaborated with her company to use a virtual creator, Kuki, on Instagram to promote fashion products. She emphasized the need for understanding AI’s limitations and the potential disruption it may bring to future job roles.

Sri Shivananda, Executive VP and CTO of Paypal, emphasized the importance of trust in optimizing AI’s results. He acknowledged the fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding AI but clarified that it is an enabler and means to an end. Shivananda believed that true innovation comes from balancing the power of AI with human factors.

Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, President of the American Medical Association, spoke about the organization’s focus on developing principles and recommendations for AI-generated medical advice. He mentioned that physicians embrace emerging technologies but must address concerns regarding reliability, regulation, and public policy. Moreover, he noted that even the most advanced AI-enabled tools cannot replace correct diagnoses and treatments by medical professionals.

**Considerations for AI Deployment**

Sandeep Dave brought up important considerations regarding the deployment of modern complex AI models. He emphasized the costs associated with deployment and the potential impact on an organization’s sustainability goals due to the energy consumed in training these models. These factors should be taken into account when assessing the return on investment for AI implementation.

**Building Trust in AI**

Panelists discussed the issue of trust in AI when its underlying methods are not transparent. AI algorithms often develop complex weighted models based on patterns in data, which may not align with ordinary human reasoning. This lack of transparency can lead to mistrust in the AI’s decision-making process and the usefulness of the end results. It was agreed that improving transparency and understanding of AI’s operation will support responsible and ethical AI use.


The panel session at the Reuters Thompson Momentum conference shed light on various aspects of AI, ranging from its potential benefits to the ethical concerns surrounding its deployment. IEEE’s involvement in establishing standards and guidelines for responsible AI practices was highlighted, along with perspectives from industry experts. It is imperative to strive for transparency in AI algorithms and continue to develop ethical frameworks to ensure the responsible and beneficial use of AI in our society.

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