Who’s teaching the computers? Ethics, fraud and AI

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2018 by Gary Hunt

By Tiffany Crosby, CPA, MBA, OSCPA director of learning

If you’ve taken an ethics course from me this year, you’ve heard me ask the question, “Can ethics be taught?” My follow-up question often is, “How is ethics taught?” To which, the inevitable reply is through watching others.

That works well if you’re watching a personal of high moral character. But it’s problematic if you’re not.

Now enter artificial intelligence, the computerized form of learning through observation and critical thinking. Just like with humans, we have the same caveat – who are they watching? This article in Financial Management Magazine highlights this point well when it states that “the key piece of advice here is to curate the data that is used as input to a system to ensure that the signals in the data support the training objectives. For example, if you are creating an AI to automate driving a car, you want your AI to learn from good drivers and not from bad drivers.”

So, the question of the day is this: Who’s teaching your machines to do what they do? What happens if the machines are trained to do the wrong thing? Who is responsible for fraud by AI?

What an interesting world we’re entering.

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