Assessing AI: Sorting the myths from the reality

Assessing AI: Sorting the myths from the reality

Jay Persaud, EY Global Leader, Emerging Technology Ecosystem

There is a pressing need to build confidence in the ability of artificial intelligence (AI) to produce accurate and responsible results.

Gatherings like 4YFN, the event partner of MWC Barcelona, are critical for exchanges of best practices, lessons learned, and new opportunities to further explore the transformative power of AI and its impact on various industries, society, and the future of work. Despite very real challenges and concerns, much of the public can agree that now is not the time to pause or stop progress; instead, if pursued in the right way, this moment presents a golden opportunity to effect positive change on a societal level.

Hallucinations are one of the biggest barriers to widespread AI adoption, particularly in high-stakes fields such as finance, health care and law. That the results of AI decision-making frequently cannot be traced is another tough obstacle to overcome. The next big moment in AI will be when the answers generated don’t just sound more human-like, but indeed are more accurate. Think about a lawyer: Generative AI can be a powerful tool in helping free up time to do higher-value cognitive work, but only if that lawyer has confidence that the resulting data and citations are accurate.

Teamwork will be essential because developing AI tools presents a cross-functional challenge. Within companies, cooperation among entities such as security, trust and safety, legal, regulatory, and developers is a must have. The need for teamwork extends beyond the individual business; even though there are divergent perspectives in different nations, we need more globally aligned regulatory frameworks (at least for democratic countries with similar governance policies) so that we don’t end up having to pause progress in a haphazard way.

Seeing real-world, practical applications of the various ways AI being integrated and leveraged continues to be inspiring. The 4YFN panel AI Unleashed: Big Ideas, Bold Solutions, and Bright Futures will be valuable in showcasing different startup leaders, who can give first-hand insight on lessons learned amid the fast-moving world of AI.

Developing AI in a responsible manner is a main point of discussion across industries. Terms like “data privacy” get thrown around without a full understanding of what they entail. We explored how it’s still quite important to explain the basics. Data remains paramount for AI tools; access to specialized data is crucial to enhance greater accuracy, yet there is a fear that once you put your data into the model, it is no longer private. Although data spills are a legitimate concern, existing mechanisms can help ensure that your private data remains private while still allowing AI to generate useful insights.

This concept of responsibility also applies to the potential implications of successful AI tools. There is real concern that AI will disproportionately affect people who are doing lower-paid work, worsening inequality and negatively affecting opportunities to foster greater inclusion. Recognition of these challenges is essential. To learn more about how responsible AI plays a significant role in business, helps drive sustainable inclusive growth in communities, and embeds social and environmental values deeply in society, join EY’s Global Corporate Responsibility Leader Gillian Hinde’s panel on Bridging the Gap Between Social Impact & AI.

Looking ahead, there’s a great deal of excitement about where AI technology can take us. We’ve already seen the ways that AI can enhance the day-to-day productivity of the modern workplace – for example, using GenAI to summarize meetings. Greater accessibility of these tools holds immense promise.

But the truly exciting part is the unknown potential. AI might represent a paradigm shift on the scale of how the internet radically redefined our daily lives. The real-world implications of this technology are inspiring – think about how these tools can help societies tackle seemingly intractable problems, such as providing underserved communities access to health care.

Although the AI hype cycle can create uncertainty, I know I am not alone in being optimistic about the promise. With an eye to the future, if pursued responsibly, the benefits to our world could be immense in ways that we can barely conceive of now.