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‘We had to put down some rigorous guardrails,’ CES speakers navigate the drawbacks of AI

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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

January 10, 2024 | 3 min read

Industry leaders convene at CES 2024 to scrutinize the intricate issue of bias in artificial intelligence systems and advocate for responsible, human-led AI deployment.

Ces 2024

CES speakers left to right: Emily Graham, Beatrice Dautzenberg, Caroline Yap and Clarissa Season / Credit: Audrey Kemp

In the bustling halls of the Aria Convention Center during CES 2024, discussions about artificial intelligence and its vast applications are nearly impossible to avoid.

Amidst the excitement these systems, a crucial conversation unfolded regarding the reliability of data sets tainted by human and systemic biases.

In a panel session, Emily Graham, Omnicom’s chief equity & impact officer, remarked: “AI is a mirror of society, and we know it. That can also be a detriment because that includes our biases ... We have influenced that data set.”

Some companies are taking proactive measures to self-regulate their AI systems, like advertising company Annalect. Clarissa Season, chief experience officer at Annalect, shared insights into how the company grapples with the pitfalls of generative AI. “We had to put down some rigorous guardrails [on our technology].”

She went on to explain that Annalect follows a meticulous multistage process to evaluate outputs, engaging a small group of individuals for feedback before the system’s alpha release. Season stressed the importance of treating AI as a tool for inspiration, not as an absolute, and applying human thought to its outputs.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” she said, emphasizing the intentional and thoughtful interaction with AI. The key, she noted, lies in discerning where AI adds value to life and where its benefits may be questionable.

In a separate panel, Lynn Teo, chief marketing officer at Northwestern Mutual, echoed their sentiments within the context of the financial world. She recognized AI’s capabilities in decision support, envisioning a synergy between individuals and the tech’s sharp recommendations. Yet, she added: “My sense with AI is that it will accelerate permutations and personalization, but it will never replace the human.”

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