Alarming Lack of Action On Data Bias In AI, Revealed By New Progress’ Survey
Biases are often inherited by cultural and personal experiences. When data is collected and used in the training of machine learning models, the models inherit the bias of the people building them, producing unexpected and potentially harmful outcomes.
Progress (Nasdaq: PRGS), the trusted provider of application development and infrastructure software, announced the results of its global survey, “Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI”. Conducted by independent research firm, Insight Avenue, the Progress survey is based on interviews with more than 640 business and IT professionals, director level and above, who use data to make decisions and are using or plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support their decision making. The full report and findings can be found here.
Biases are often inherited by cultural and personal experiences. When data is collected and used in the training of machine learning models, the models inherit the bias of the people building them, producing unexpected and potentially harmful outcomes. Yet, despite the potential legal and financial pitfalls associated with data bias, there is a lack of understanding around the training, processes and technology needed to tackle data bias successfully.
The report offers a deeper understanding of data bias and indicated that 78% of business and IT decision makers believe data bias will become a bigger concern as AI/ML use increases, but only 13% are currently addressing it and have an ongoing evaluation process. The biggest barriers they see are lack of awareness of potential biases, understanding how to identify bias as well as the lack of available expert resources, such as having access to data scientists.
Here are some of the significant highlights that can impact the Indian market and give you a holistic view of Data Bias:
- According to a recent survey on data bias in India, organizations are becoming increasingly reliant on AI/ML for decision-making, with a whopping 55% expecting to increase their reliance on the technology this year. However, as dependence on AI/ML grows, 69% of organizations anticipate a heightened concern over potential data bias.
- Despite 55% of organizations acknowledging the existence of data bias within their organization, 63% of respondents consider lack of awareness and understanding as significant barriers to addressing it. Additionally, the lack of available expert resources, such as access to data scientists, is also a challenge.
- However, the survey results show that 82% of respondents in India see technology as a crucial tool in the fight against data bias. Furthermore, 57% of organizations believe that data bias could have serious social consequences if not addressed.
- Globally, 66% of organizations anticipate becoming more reliant on AI/ML decision-making in the coming years, with 65% believing that there is currently data bias in their organization. A significant 77% of organizations feel that they need to be doing more to address data bias, with 51% citing lack of awareness and understanding of biases as a significant barrier to addressing it.
- Other significant highlights from the survey include that 76% of respondents believe in the positive impact of optimal human-machine collaboration.
- 66% of organizations anticipate becoming more reliant on AI/ML decision making, in the coming years.
- 65% believe there is currently data bias in their organization.
- 77% believe they need to be doing more to address data bias.
- 51% consider lack of awareness and understating of biases as a barrier to addressing it.
“Every day, bias can negatively impact business operations and decision making – from governance and lost customer trust to financial implications and potential legal and ethical exposure,” said John Ainsworth, EVP and General Manager, Application and Data Platform, Progress. “We put our customers at the center of everything we do and as we explore all that AI/ML can do, we want to ensure our customers are armed with the right information to make the best decisions to drive their business forward.”
“Data bias is a critical concern for organization in India, as it has the potential to impact not only business outcomes, but also wider trends and opportunities in society,” said Prasanna Anireddy, VP, Engineering, Progress. “Having a sustainable approach to fighting data bias will enable organizations to embrace decision automation and build more trust around the use of AI. Organizations require guidance to effectively navigate the complex issues surrounding the issue, and the survey has identified important gaps that need to be addressed,” she added.
Commissioned by Progress, the survey, “Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI,” was conducted by Insight Avenue, a UK-based research firm, specializing in business-to-business technology research. Results are based on interviews with business and IT professionals located across the Americas, Europe and Asia, focused on the use of data in decision making. These professionals come from organizations with over 500 employees to better understand the overall awareness of data bias, how it was impacting businesses and what companies were doing to address it.