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Principles of trustworthy AI systems

Georgia Brooker

September 01, 20235 minutes

chatbot holding the world, illustrating the need for trustworthy AI systems everywhere

Since artificial intelligence (AI) has migrated out of the shadows and into mainstream use, one hot topic has been circulating — AI ethics. In other words, can we trust artificial intelligence? It’s no secret that the increasing complexity and autonomy of AI systems has raised questions about their ethical implications and reliability. This is where trustworthy AI comes in — it’s a concept designed to ensure the responsible and safe development and deployment of AI technologies.

We’re here to talk you through the principles of trustworthy AI, including why it’s important and how it can benefit you.

What is trustworthy artificial intelligence?

AI trustworthiness encompasses generative AI and conversational AI systems that are developed and deployed to prioritize ethics, reliability, fairness, transparency, and accountability. As the lines between human and AI capabilities become blurrier, trustworthy AI aims to keep these two worlds separate but harmonious — the robots aren’t here to take over, they’re here to help. Operating within a trustworthy framework means that AI technologies respect human values, uphold fundamental rights, and adhere to ethical standards, while providing consistent and reliable outputs. Keeping processes fair and transparent fosters user confidence and societal well-being — so everybody wins when we stay honest.  

What are the benefits of trustworthy AI?

It’s not just individuals who benefit from trustworthy AI — adopting these ethical principles has a positive impact on organizations and society as a whole. Here are some of the main ways trustworthy AI is moving the world forward.

Ethical AI development

A trustworthy AI lifecycle encourages developers to consider the broader ethical implications of their creations, minimizing biases, discrimination, and other harmful outcomes.

Reliable decision-making

When AI algorithms adhere to ethical principles, they are more likely to produce consistent, reliable, and unbiased decisions — just like humans. Cutting corners on ethics can lead to errors with significant consequences, from biased credit offers to people not being given the right healthcare or employment opportunities.

User confidence

It’s all in the name — trustworthy AI fosters customer trust and acceptance. When people believe that AI technologies are designed with their best interests in mind, they are more likely to engage with and adopt this new technology.

Regulatory compliance

The rules and regulations around creating and deploying AI are tightening. Organizations that prioritize trustworthy AI are already two moves ahead when it comes to complying with legal and ethical requirements.

Societal well-being

Trustworthy AI can be used as a force for positive change all around the world. It can ethically address challenges like healthcare diagnostics, climate modeling, disaster response, and more.

How does AI governance deliver trustworthy AI?

With great power comes great responsibility — and this rings true for creating AI. A lot of negative sentiment surrounding AI technologies is born from a perceived lack of regulation in the industry. Without a centralized governing body to oversee AI regulation, it is up to the creators to implement their own governance of internal and external checks. Without any sort of rules or structure to their machine learning or design, an AI system is doomed to failure.

AI governance brings order and ethics to the entire lifecycle of AI production — these guidelines, standards, policies, and regulations are crucial to steer the optimal development, deployment, and use of trustworthy AI technologies.

Governance and compliance are driven by a range of complementary forces, with four key factors being: brand reputation, anticipated regulations, AI complexity, and social justice. When brands and developers follow the rules and keep ethics top of mind, it results in trustworthy AI.

7 principles of trustworthy AI

While there are a whole lot of ingredients that go into creating trustworthy AI, there are some crucial fundamental elements that have to be included. Here are our essential principles of trustworthy AI:

  1. Impartial – Bias breeds mistrust and misinformation — it’s as simple as that. AI systems should be designed to avoid biases and discrimination, ensuring that all individuals are treated equitably.
  1. Reliable – People love technology they can count on. Reliable and robust AI minimizes errors and unexpected behavior, even in dynamic or uncertain environments.
  1. Transparent – Keeping people in the dark is a surefire way to lose their trust, especially when it comes to technology. The inner workings of AI systems should be transparent and understandable, empowering users to comprehend how decisions are made.
  1. Safe – Adequate security measures are another key aspect to building trust. A robust AI system must be protected from potential risks (including cyber risks) that could cause physical and digital harm.
  1. Respectful of privacy – Respect for user privacy and proper data handling should be paramount, with stringent measures to protect sensitive information. Users should have agency over how their data is collected and used.
  1. Responsible – Developers and organizations need to be accountable for the behavior and outcomes of their AI systems — it’s the responsible thing to do. It’s vital that mechanisms are put in place to address any errors and their unintended consequences.
  1. Human-centred values – We must never forget that humans are the ones that are using and benefiting from AI. AI systems should be developed and deployed with a primary focus on respecting human rights, cultural diversity, and societal well-being.

Building trustworthy AI from day one

Now you know the importance of trustworthy AI — but how do you find it? Look for the green flags we’ve outlined with companies like LivePerson. As pioneers in the ethical AI space, LivePerson is defining the standards for responsible AI governance in real time. It’s not just a bunch of empty corporate promises, either — LivePerson is badge certified in responsible, safe AI governance, boasting official credentials from Equal AI. With a focus on the highest quality conversational AI solutions, you can enter the market knowing that LivePerson is committed to trust, safety, and ethics.

Ready to step into the world of trustworthy conversational AI?