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Dell’s Jeff Boudreau stresses governance for ethical AI

A response from AI chatbot Gemini put Google in hot water earlier this year when it called the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies “fascist” leading to an uproar over potential dangers of AI bias. Incidents like these show the risks associated with artificial intelligence and how algorithmic bias poses a serious concern in the algorithm-driven world.

“I think a lot of it starts with your data management practices and your governance models. So a company has to have a governance model and responsible ethical AI has to be part of that,” Jeff Boudreau, Chief AI Officer, Dell, told while speaking about what the tech giant is doing to tackle AI bias at a media roundtable on the second day of Dell Technologies World event in Las Vegas. “When I think about data, it’s about privacy, it’s about ethics, unification and standardisation. That’s where you can get some of that solved but it won’t solve all issues in regards to what’s going on with AI.”

AI is a powerful tool and is increasingly being deployed for tasks such as drug discovery. However, artificial intelligence is fueled by data, and if that data reflects human bias, AI systems can make decisions that disadvantage certain groups.

The rapid development of AI, particularly generative AI, has governments around the world scrambling to control it. The lack of regulations has given bad actors a free hand to spread misinformation and disinformation. The abuse of AI is a major topic of discussion in India, especially as it holds elections, the largest democratic exercise on the planet. The use of generative AI to create new content, including “deep fake” videos that replicate faces and voices, is rampant. Many experts are referring to India’s general elections as the first “AI-election.”

“The good news is this technology[ai] is great at finding it was altered or not, be it a fraud detection, or access controls,” Boudreau said.

India does not have statutory rules or regulations that directly regulate AI. In recent months, just before the elections kicked off, it asked tech companies to seek its nod before publicly launching “unreliable” or “under-tested” generative AI models or tools. However, the central government may choose a middle path for AI regulation similar to what it did with recent technology laws, such as data protection.

“There are good actors in the world, and there are bad actors. Our role, in collaboration with governments, is to balance innovation and technology. We aim to use technology for good while also working with governments to ensure they have the right policies in place, keeping us on the right side of accountability models,” Jeff Boudreau said.

The writer is attending the Dell Technologies World event in Las Vegas at the invitation of Dell India. Indian Express

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