Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping whistleblowers expose the truth in several ways.
Organizations and businesses must give whistleblowers the freedom to expose the unethical ways in which AI and other technologies may be used by them. Doing this ensures that the true ethics of AI are being upheld.
Although mega-corporations and governments always harp about “encouraging” whistleblowers to come forward and “speak out” about technologies such as AI and IoT being used for morally wrong motives, there is a reason why that doesn’t happen too often. For starters, one can simply look at Edward Snowden, arguably the most renowned whistleblower and one of the true icons of the modern age, and his relentlessly perilous life. In 2013, Snowden, who was granted permanent residency in Russia in October 2020, showed the fortitude to expose powerful bodies such as the NSA and CIA in the US. Such whistleblowers have inspired several others to emulate them. Last year, another whistleblower Frances Haugen came forward to shed light on the unethical ways in which Facebook abuses user data.
As the world moves forward, businesses and governments must uphold the ethics of AI and leverage the technology to help whistleblowers instead of silencing them or hunting them down like prey.
Chatbots can autonomously submit the reports created by a whistleblower to a designated department while keeping their identity hidden. Additionally, this AI-based application can interactively assist whistleblowers with getting the process of manually submitting reports and following up with such departments right. Using NLP, chatbots can also formulate responses to reports to prepare whistleblowers for potential backlash and questions. It wouldn't be wrong to say that chatbots can act as virtual agents for whistleblowers by helping them achieve their objective of either putting out their reports in the electronic and social media or reporting it to the top decision-makers in companies and public bodies.
As there are no humans involved in the report submission process, chatbots allow whistleblowers to anonymously speak out without hesitancy.
Alternatively, robotic whistleblowers can be employed for identifying people in an organization or public agency who carry out unethical practices in day-to-day work. This monitoring must be done at all levels—for the board of directors, managers, operational employees and others—in an organization. Some robots can also be configured to collect data from various employees to compile information and create their own whistleblowing reports. Robots can also analyze every operation in an organization and verify whether they’re fundamentally ethical or not. Robotics-based whistleblowing takes the weight of “speaking out” from the shoulders of human whistleblowers to keep them safe from strict action from their employers or public agencies.
One of the main benefits of using robots is that whistleblowers will be kept away from various legal entanglements that typically accompany a whistleblower’s reveal.
Although AI offers some solutions to help people who need to bring ugly tech-related truths out in the open, businesses and governments must make the task of whistleblowing easy for any employee. This will ensure that the ethics of AI—transparency, equality, and fairness, among others—are respected and upheld by them.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.