How do we build trust between humans and AI?

robot AI

(Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Rana El Kaliouby, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Affectiva


My mother lives 5,000 miles away in Cairo, Egypt. When she calls me, she can immediately tell if something is wrong, simply from the way I say “Hello” or “I’m fine”. Like many relationships with those we hold close, my mom and I have built a level of trust to the point that she knows how I’m feeling from a simple word or phrase.

But unfortunately, I, like many others in the world today, spend as much (if not more) time interacting with technology as I do with the people close to me. Yet unlike talking to my mom or a friend, the way we interact with devices is completely transactional. My cell phone can’t read between the lines and understand what’s really going on with me.

 

This issue is becoming more noticeable as our interactions with technology make increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI). As AI takes on new roles in society – from working alongside us, to driving our cars, assisting with our healthcare and more – we’re forging a new kind of partnership with technology. And with that partnership comes a new social contract: one that’s built on mutual trust, empathy and ethics.

Can AI trust us?

It starts with mutual trust. After all, we cannot effectively work or live with people that we don’t trust, and who don’t trust us back. AI is no different.

The examples of why mutual trust matters between people and AI reach far and wide. Take semi-autonomous vehicles, for instance. As these cars are still in development, they require a human driver to be prepared to take back control if the car’s AI can no longer safely navigate.

But how can the AI trust that the person is ready to take over? That the person who’s meant to drive is alert and engaged, and not drowsy or otherwise distracted? AI systems need to be able to really understand our emotional and cognitive states – in this case, recognizing if someone is showing signs of distraction or potentially dangerous states of impairment – before entrusting them.

So the question becomes: how can we foster a feeling as personal as trust with machines – and how can we make it mutual?

AI as an empathetic companion

According to Harvard Business School technology professor Frances Frei, empathy is one of the most important elements in establishing trust between people. So perhaps empathy is also the key to creating an understanding and trust between AI and humans.

The key to building AI that truly “gets” us isn’t to focus solely on cognition, but to develop algorithms with emotional intelligence. Much like in partnerships between people, giving AI the ability to understand how someone is feeling is the only way that a semi-autonomous car will know if its driver is fit to take the wheel, or a co-bot will understand if its human colleagues are feeling up to the job on a given day.

This may seem too personal or unnatural to some. But to me, continuing to advance AI research and development is not what will pose a threat to our jobs or mankind. The real question is, what will people do with the technology, and how will our choices for AI change our world?

Outlining the ethical development and deployment of AI

AI systems that are designed to engage with humans will have a lot of data, and will know a lot about the people they interact with. This raises concerns: while there’s a lot of potential for AI to improve our lives, there’s just as much potential for it to aggravate inequality or cause harm.

Image: Franck V/Unsplash

As we devise this new social contract, we need to set standards for the ethical development and deployment of AI. This means making sure that AI is built by diverse teams, and with diverse data, to ensure that the technology does not replicate biases that are inherent in society. It means considering the need for opt-in and consent when people interact with AI, and prioritizing data privacy.

Recognizing this, some of the brightest minds in technology, academia and beyond are already partnering up to set standards that will ensure people use AI ethically and for good – from MIT and Harvard’s Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, to the Partnership on AI, which is a collaboration between large tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple, and start-ups like Affectiva. This is part of my charge as a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum, too. The Forum gives us an opportunity to discuss the implications of AI with leaders who bring perspectives from all different arenas and backgrounds.

There’s still so much to figure out as we navigate our changing relationship with AI. But there’s an immediate need to start framing the conversation in this way – as a partnership rooted in trust, empathy and understanding – rather than continuing to discuss AI in fear, and develop the technology without enabling it to really relate to us.

We’ll be exploring the new social contract between people and AI, and all of the associated implications, at Affectiva’s third annual Emotion AI Summit in Boston on 15 October. Register here if you’d like to join and help advance the conversation – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Denmark’s last circus elephants are retiring – here’s what might take their place

A Sting Exclusive: “Junior Enterprises themselves carry out projects focusing on the environment”, JADE President Daniela Runchi highlights from Brussels

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

Towards a European Republic

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

This is the world’s biggest mental health problem – and you might not have heard of it

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

Tobacco is harming the planet, not just our health, says new study

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

The three US financial war fleets

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

Amid ‘volatile’ environment, UN mission chief urges Iraqi leaders to ‘listen to the voice of the people’

“As long as we work together through thick and thin, more benefits can be delivered to the people of Eurasia”, China’s Premier Li Keqiang highlights from ASEM in Brussels

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock, as attacks intensify

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Netherlands: Budget MEPs back €1.2m in job-search aid for 450 redundant workers

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Health Education, is it a necessity?

After the Italian ‘no’ and the Brexit, Germans must decide which Europe they want

Here are the biggest cybercrime trends of 2019

Peace in the Gulf ‘at a critical juncture’ says DiCarlo, urging continuation of Iran nuclear deal

In the age of the tourism backlash, we need ‘destination stewards’

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Online shopping across the EU to be easier from 3 December

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

EU-US trade talks go ahead despite Prism and civil rights breach

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

How music can help children with autism connect

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

5 things you need to know about water

Top UN officials strongly condemn ‘horrible terrorist act’ in Nairobi

Hungary has made progress on greening its economy and now needs to raise its ambitions

IMF’s Lagarde indirectly cautioned Eurozone on deflation

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

What just happened? 5 themes from the COP24 climate talks in Poland

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: #GlobalGoals progress, essential meds, updates from Cox’s Bazar, Sudan and DR Congo

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

FROM THE FIELD: A mountain of indigenous knowledge in Peru

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

The Energy Union: from vision to reality

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

US resolution to condemn activities of Hamas voted down in General Assembly

Europe faces economic turmoil as Italy gets closer to the Excessive Debt Procedure

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Why vaccines are not just for children

3 ways firms can master the digital challenges of the 4IR

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

Youth platforms call on German Government to break down legal barriers for young volunteers and pupils

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s