The Ethical AI Governance Group recently published their annual report on the challenges facing organizations in the ethical adoption and usage of AI and highlight the “black box” nature of AI governance today. In a follow-up to my previous blog on Securing Generative AI I outline some of the fundamentals for organizations looking to implement and manage ethical AI approaches.
Some of the key enablers include open source technologies, business practices and tools to increase the visibility into and observability of AI systems and data to help better enable and ensure adherence to ethical and security standards. AI observability is not just about ensuring performance and security; it’s also about steering technology towards ethical and responsible usage. As highlighted in the ITEC Handbook from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, ethical leadership and stakeholder inclusion are key in managing disruptive technologies.
AI Observability: The What and The Why
At its core, AI observability is about having a clear window into the inner workings of AI models. It involves understanding how these models process data and make decisions. This transparency is crucial not just for detecting and correcting errors but also for ensuring that AI models are performing efficiently and in line with the intended business objectives. By continuously monitoring vital performance metrics such as latency, throughput, and accuracy, organizations can swiftly identify and mitigate issues, thereby ensuring consistent and reliable AI operations.
The Crucial Role of Data Observability
Data observability complements AI observability by focusing on the health and integrity of an organization’s data. It ensures that the data feeding into AI systems is complete, consistent, timely, valid, and unique. This is vital because the quality of the data directly impacts the performance and reliability of AI models. The five pillars of data observability – distribution, freshness, lineage, schema, and volume – each play a role in maintaining data quality, enabling businesses to detect and resolve data-related issues proactively.
Enhancing Security and Promoting Ethical AI
AI observability isn’t just a tool for performance monitoring; it’s also essential for ensuring security and ethical compliance. Advanced AI and machine learning technologies help businesses make sense of the myriad security alerts and identify the root causes of issues. This proactive approach to security is vital in a landscape where data breaches can have significant financial and reputational consequences. Moreover, in an era where regulatory bodies are increasingly focused on AI ethics and compliance, observability helps ensure that AI models operate within the bounds of these regulations and corporate values.
Aligning with Industry Trends and Standards
The insights from the EAIGG Annual Report highlight the importance of ethical AI development and application. Observability aligns with this perspective by offering real-time insights into AI models, ensuring that they are reliable, transparent, and adhere to societal values and ethical standards. This is especially crucial in industries like healthcare and finance, where compliance with regulations and ethical standards is not just a legal requirement but also a cornerstone of customer trust.
Looking Ahead: AI Observability as a Business Strategy
For B2B organizations, AI observability is more than a technical necessity; it’s a strategic asset. It empowers businesses to have complete oversight over their AI-driven operations, ensuring that these powerful tools are used wisely and ethically. As AI continues to reshape the business landscape, the ability to monitor, understand, and ethically guide AI models will be a key differentiator for organizations looking to thrive in this new era.