AI on the inclusivity frontline

| minute read

Artificial Intelligence’s business impact is already profound and set to only increase. This transformative tech has the power to combat existing inequalities, but only if we work hard to identify and address biases already in place, says Sopra Steria UK Data Consulting Manager Omon Fagbamigbe.

Bias, both conscious and unconscious, is a challenge that has plagued human decision-making processes for centuries.

Identifying and reducing bias is crucial to fostering diversity and inclusion. Now with the advent of AI, we have at our fingertips, a technology that has the power to dramatically transform inclusion – for better or for worse, is up to us.

Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play a critical role for organisations in the Diversity and Inclusion space.

However, we have to acknowledge the dangers of AI reinforcing existing biases and exacerbating inequalities, particularly when it comes to underrepresented groups.  

Sopra Steria is committed to fostering greater inclusivity, diversity, and an equitable working environment.

We advocate for the development and deployment of AI systems that are designed with fairness and inclusivity in mind, both in the workplace and beyond. 

Combatting the bias challenge

Machine learning algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data to identify patterns and potential sources of bias in everything, from performance evaluations to compensation structures.

By highlighting these issues, AI helps organisations take proactive steps to rectify disparities and promote fairness. For instance, with the help of AI-based analytics, organisations can examine their communication patterns, performance reviews, and promotion histories to identify and address bias along the way. 

However, algorithmic decision-making is only as good as the data sets it’s trained on. It’s crucial to train AI systems on diverse data sets that reflect the diversity of the population it’s meant to serve to avoid perpetuating skewed or discriminatory outcomes.

Therefore, it’s also essential to ensure that the teams developing AI systems are diverse and inclusive. Having a diverse team ensures that the technology is designed with different perspectives, experiences, and cultural backgrounds in mind, improving its fairness and promoting inclusivity.

Improving accessibility

AI is also contributing to improved accessibility. For instance, AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can provide real-time support for employees with disabilities, ensuring they have equal access to information and assistance. This is a game-changer for fostering inclusivity in the workplace.

AI doesn't just work behind the scenes; it can also enhance transparency and accountability. By documenting and analysing decisions made by AI systems, organisations can ensure that they align with diversity and inclusion goals.

This transparency fosters trust among employees and demonstrates a commitment to fair practices.

The human touch

It’s essential to remember that AI is not a substitute for human empathy and understanding, rather it is a powerful ally. The combination of AI and human insight can create a potent force for diversity and inclusion.

Human judgment and guidance remain vital in interpreting AI-driven insights and making nuanced decisions. Furthermore, AI is not a one-time solution. It's a tool that continually learns and adapts.

This means that as organisations evolve, AI systems can adapt to changing norms and expectations, helping to maintain and further improve diversity and inclusion efforts.

Confront the challenges

As we reflect on our mission to promote diversity and inclusion, it's clear that AI has a significant role to play in bias mitigation and fostering a more equitable workplace. 

It is therefore important that they are designed and deployed with caution and sensitivity to mitigate bias. However, we must also remember that AI is a tool in our hands, and it's our responsibility to use it wisely and ethically.

By harnessing the power of AI while retaining our human touch, we can truly move towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all employees, regardless of their background or identity.

Let’s redouble our efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable world, aided by the benefits of AI while being conscious of the risk. 





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