Written by: Brett Lyndon – The Pro Forum Community of Practice

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a transformative force in government and business sectors. This heralds a new era of possibilities and challenges. With this technological wave comes the need to navigate the ethical landscape. Ethical considerations are especially crucial in government and business. The consequences of AI applications have far-reaching impacts on society and individuals. In this forum article, we’ll look at the ethical principles that should guide AI in these sectors.

In both government and business, AI systems should prioritise transparency and accountability. Transparency means making the workings of AI understandable to everyone. This includes disclosure of algorithms and decision-making processes. Transparency is essential in government, where AI could be used for policy decisions. It is also important in business, where it influences consumer choices. We all deserve to know how decisions are being made.

Privacy is a fundamental ethical concern when it comes to AI in government and business. Government agencies should uphold citizens’ privacy when using AI for surveillance, law enforcement, and data collection. In business, companies must respect consumer privacy when collecting and analysing personal data. Strict data protection regulations should serve as models for safeguarding individuals’ privacy rights. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Australian Privacy Act 1988, including the 13 Australian Privacy Principles, are examples of privacy management regulations.

AI should always be complemented by human oversight. Government officials must make the final decisions on critical matters. AI must only act as an advisory tool. In business, human employees should oversee AI systems to prevent unintended consequences. This ensures decisions align with government policies and principles, and societal values. Human oversight ensures that ethical principles are upheld.

Both government and business must establish mechanisms for holding AI accountable for errors. In government, this means acknowledging mistakes in policy decisions and taking corrective action. Businesses should be transparent about AI errors and offer remedies to affected parties. Accountability helps build trust and ensures ethical use of AI remains a priority.

To ensure ethical use of AI, governments and businesses must put in place strict safeguards against AI misuse. Regulations preventing AI misuse are needed. These should prevent harm from uses like surveillance, manipulation, or discrimination. Regular review and update of Ethical guidelines to adapt to changes in technology is necessary.

Engaging the public and educating them about AI’s ethical implications is crucial. In government, this includes seeking public input on AI policies. Ensuring that citizens understand how AI affects their lives. In business, companies should be transparent about AI use and engage in responsible marketing. Public awareness and education are vital for building an informed society.

AI in government and business promises to improve efficiency, innovation, and decision-making. However, the ethical use of AI is paramount to prevent harm and promote the well-being of individuals and society. The ethical principles discussed above must guide the development and implementation of AI. By adhering to these principles, government and business can harness the full potential of AI while upholding the values and rights of the people they serve.


Disclosure: The first draft of this article was written using Chat GPT. Human oversight and Hemingway Editor were used for editing before publishing.


NOTE: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter, and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. The content must not be relied upon as legal, technical, financial or other professional advice.