Follow Ethics by Design: Building AI With Integrity

AI Ethicist Enrico Panai on Balancing Innovation and Ethics in AI Development
Enrico Panai, professor, AI ethics, Emlyon Business School and La Cattolica, and president, Association of AI Ethicists

In the dynamic realm of AI development, speed often outweighs ethical considerations. When factoring in the ethical dimensions surrounding generative AI, businesses face a pressing challenge. Esteemed AI ethicist Enrico Panai advocates for prioritizing ethical considerations from the inception and design phase of AI system development.

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Panai suggests businesses against hastily embarking on AI initiatives without factoring in their ethical challenges. He contends that ethics should not be perceived as an impediment to AI innovation, but rather as a preemptive measure. By ingraining ethical considerations from the outset of AI technology, companies can proactively confront potential issues related to reputation and ethical quandaries. This approach not only streamlines the navigation of AI's ethical aspects but also ultimately saves time and resources and aids its progress.

"It takes more time to withdraw an AI technology due to failure than producing a good technology built on ethical principles and inserting it into the market," Panai said.

In pursuit of infusing ethics into their AI systems, Panai underscores that while certain ethical principles in AI hold universal relevance, their implementation and relative importance can differ based on distinct domains. To adeptly instate these principles, organizations must customize their ethical frameworks to suit their domain and harmonize with the company's individualized ethical charter.

In this interview with ISMG, Panai discussed:

  • The role of an AI ethicist in business;
  • Need for integrating ethics into AI systems from scratch;
  • How to balance speed and innovation with ethics in AI systems.

Panai is an AI ethicist and human information interaction specialist. He teaches AI ethics at leading universities in France and Italy. He is a member of the French standardization committee for IA - AFNOR and co-convenor on AI-enhanced nudging at CEN-CENELEC.

About the Author

Shipra Malhotra

Shipra Malhotra

Managing Editor, ISMG

Malhotra has more than two decades of experience in technology journalism and public relations. She writes about enterprise technology and security-related issues and has worked at, Dataquest and The Indian Express.

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