By CultureBanx Team
- Microsoft & Google warn investors that bad A.I. could harm their brands
- Worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems to reach $77.6B in 2022
Tech companies Microsoft (MSFT +1.23%) and Google (GOOG -0.72%) have sounded the alarm on just how harmful artificial intelligence can be for investors and brands alike. A.I. is still the most disputed part of technology and is becoming increasingly more commonplace as companies look to incorporate it across their platforms. While critics call for justification for the use of the technology and in some cases an all-out ban, A.I. continues to be a billion dollar industry, with many tech companies willing to withstand a tarnished brand reputation for lucrative profits.
Why This Matters: In Google’s recently released SEC annual report it highlighted their brand concerns around A.I. that could impact the company’s bottom line. “New products and services, including those that incorporate or utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, can raise new or exacerbate existing ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges, which may negatively affect our brands and demand for our products and services and adversely affect our revenues and operating results,” the company wrote.
If we enable or offer AI solutions that are controversial because of their impact on human rights, privacy, employment, or other social issues, we may experience brand or reputational harm
Last August in Microsoft’s SEC annual report, it noted that “A.I. algorithms may be flawed. Datasets may be insufficient or contain biased information. If we enable or offer AI solutions that are controversial because of their impact on human rights, privacy, employment, or other social issues, we may experience brand or reputational harm.”
Research shows commercial artificial intelligence systems tend to have higher error rates for women and black people. Some facial recognition systems would only confuse light-skin men 0.8% of the time and would have an error rate of 34.7% for dark-skin women. Just imagine surveillance being used with these flawed algorithms. A 2018 IDC report noted it expects worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems to reach $77.6 billion in 2022.
Situational Awareness: Remember artificial intelligence systems inherently learn what they are being “taught”. The use of facial recognition technology has a disparate impact on people of color, disenfranchising a group who already face inequality. Considering both Microsoft and Google have been operating in the A.I. space for years, we must wonder why this is the first time the latter company is truly calling out it’s potentially harmful impact and when the rest of the industry will as well.
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