Artificial Intelligence is not just about the future, but an important part of the present. Tech giants like Google and Microsoft are taking giant strides when it comes to AI by enhancing their existing products. While AI is certainly opening more revenue income, both companies are concerned about the technology. Biased artificial intelligence that makes bad decisions could harm their brands and their business, they worry.
The concern was spotted on the 10-K forms, which are documents that companies are legally required to file in every year, so that investors can understand the broad overview, recent finances, and other business details. Under Risk Factors, both Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company have mentioned AI.
Alphabet voices its concern saying “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.”
On the other hand, Microsoft also has similar worries. “AI algorithms may be flawed. Datasets may be insufficient or contain biased information. Inappropriate or controversial data practices by Microsoft or others could impair the acceptance of AI solutions. These deficiencies could undermine the decisions, predictions, or analysis AI applications produce, subjecting us to competitive harm, legal liability, and brand or reputational harm. Some AI scenarios present ethical issues. 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.”
Surprisingly, these top companies feeling like that aren’t completely surprising! The 10-K form is open to such risk factors to keep the investors aware of the situation. At the same time, it allows the company to mitigate future lawsuits which could arise for hiding potential problems. There are times when corporates go to the extent of explaining every detail of what could potentially go wrong in the business.
On the other hand, Alphabet and Microsoft are more cautious and more abreast of the dangers of AI. For instance, Google is already engaged with the academicians and policymakers about AI governance. Microsoft too, warns policymakers that facial recognition needs to be regulated. Nothing like a good heads up!