AI ethics gets short shrift among employers: OECD | Tech News

AI ethics gets short shrift among employers: OECD

Despite increasing concerns about the ethical risks posed by rapidly developing AI applications, employers are paying little attention to the issue in recruiting, an OECD study said Monday.

| Updated on: Nov 06 2023, 20:02 IST
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INSEE Director-General Jean-Luc Tavernier (R), flanked by French-Swiss economist and associate professor Antoine Bozio (2ndR), Senior economist at the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs of the OECD Sandrine Cazes (L) and Neoma business school teacher Gilbert Cette (2ndR), speaks as they attend a social conference with trade unions and employers at the French Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental (CESE - Economic, Social and Environmental Council) in Paris on October 16, 2023. (AFP)

Despite increasing concerns about the ethical risks posed by rapidly developing AI applications, employers are paying little attention to the issue in recruiting, an OECD study said Monday.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development searched online job offers for AI posts in 14 countries.

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It found that while the percentage including keywords relating to ethics had increased sharply in the past four years, it still remained very low at an average of 0.4 percent in 2022.

"Results indicate that in the majority of countries, less than 1 percent of all vacancies mentioned keywords associated with AI ethics," the OECD said in its annual job skills report.

In the United States in 2019 only 0.1 percent of all online job postings for AI professionals mentioned any keyword associated with ethics in AI.

These were for vacancies requiring prospective workers to possess skills related to AI development and use, but the figure had risen to 0.5 percent in 2022.

New Zealand had the highest result of 1.6 percent in 2022.

"This suggests that despite strong commitments on the part of countries and stated intentions on the part of AI development firms, ethics in AI is not yet prioritised in hiring decisions," said the report.

"These considerations should be prioritised."

The release of ChatGPT and other generative AI systems has captivated the public and offered a glimpse into the technology's potential.

These new systems are capable of quickly producing text, images and audio from simple commands in everyday language.

But they have also prompted concerns around issues ranging from job losses to cyberattacks and the control that humans actually have over the systems.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted political and tech leaders at the inaugural global AI safety summit last week.

Ahead of the meeting, the G7 powers agreed on a non-binding "code of conduct" for companies developing the most advanced AI systems.

But governments appear to be playing catch-up in terms of regulating the rapidly-developing technology.

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First Published Date: 06 Nov, 20:02 IST