As AI becomes our new normal, we are subconsciously affected by this if we don’t realise it. Getting notifications about coffee shops near us, seeing targeted ads and specific suggestions for things that interest us, having financial or time optimisation tools that help us with daily life – none of this seems strange to us today, but a while ago we didn’t have any of these aspects, a lot of them are actually powered by different AI technologies which are becoming more and more common.
This ease of access to information and the automation of our daily tasks makes us expect such ease everywhere. We won’t spend hours searching for a service if it can be shown to us and delivered exactly when we want and need it. We won’t spend hours on trivial tasks or data input if we can have a program do it for us much quicker so we can use our time for better things. As modern consumers, we are expecting a different type of approach, faster service, more exact information and better quality relationships with the companies we communicate with. A lot of these changes are influenced by AI and similar advancements in our business and everyday environment. It’s a point which seems logical so it can be easily disregarded, but if we don’t consider and analyse how consumer decision making is evolving, we won’t be able to anticipate new trends and adapt to them.
Self-driving vehicles are being developed in many countries by different companies, and they don’t all have the same ethical standards. In a survey on machine ethics, named “Moral Machine” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0637-6) which was conducted on 2.3 million people from around the world, one thing became obvious – many of the moral principles that guide a driver’s decisions vary by country. Ethics are not a universal value we all share. They vary between individuals, but also between countries and cultures. When asked questions hypothesising different situations, individuals from certain regions or cultures had different decisions based on whether the pedestrian was young or old, female or male, whether it was a group or just an individual, but also choices connected to the economic and political stability of certain regions.
Even though there are organizations and groups concerned with the study of ethics in self-driving vehicles or other AI technologies, there is still no uniform worldwide ethical code every human agrees with, and there might never be one.
Change is inevitable, be it connected to AI or anything else we can imagine. The only way to stay relevant and evolve is to accept changes and consider how to use them well and incorporate them into your work. Every business owner and professional can and should question themselves and their business model by analysing how the market is changing and what kind of changes and opportunities AI will bring.