What is AI Washing?
It’s called “AI washing” when companies claim their products use artificial intelligence (AI) technology when in reality they don’t or only have a tenuous link.
When marketing teams exaggerate the AI capabilities of their goods to boost sales, this is known as AI washing. The practise of “greenwashing,” in which a company’s management team makes unfounded, deceptive, or misleading claims regarding the sustainability of its goods, services, or business practises, is similar to “AI washing.”
How Come AI Washing Is Bad?
Because it has the potential to reduce artificial intelligence to nothing more than a trendy catchphrase, AI washing is dangerous. Because individuals who fall prey to AI washing may not be as eager to buy, adopt, or invest in actual AI technology in the future, this would harm user and investor confidence in the technology.
Why Do Businesses Use AI Washing?
Businesses frequently engage in AI cleaning because:
1. They Request Money
Investors are constantly searching for the trendiest trends, and technology with AI capabilities fits the bill. Investors are therefore all seeking for initiatives to back that use AI. This implies that entrepreneurs in the technology industry, in particular, have an incentive to utilise AI washing because it makes it much simpler to obtain investor backing.
2. They are wasting time.
Some businesses that engage in AI washing do so with the intention of providing AI goods and/or services. They act as though their goods or services already have AI functionality, but they haven’t quite gotten there yet.
3. They Lack Understanding of AI
Despite the enormous promise of artificial intelligence, businesses frequently misrepresent it because they don’t completely comprehend it. It can be challenging for corporations to distinguish between what genuinely falls under the umbrella title of “AI” and what doesn’t because it encompasses a wide range of tools. Businesses that are juggling both old and new technology may be a little perplexed, and as a result, they frequently err on the side of AI.
How to Prevent Vendors from Using AI Washing
Companies must assess a number of factors to establish whether providers have real AI capabilities, such as:
1. Employee Knowledge
Potential clients should confirm that the staff members of their providers have broad backgrounds and education in deep learning and artificial intelligence. Employing mathematicians, architects, data scientists, and engineers is a must for vendors promoting their AI goods and/or services. These workers are responsible for creating the models and training the machines to comprehend diverse scenarios, plan for the future, predict the outcomes, and learn from the experience.
Additionally, these staff members ought to have experience with data visualisation, which uses algorithms to produce pictures from data collected by businesses to facilitate understanding and improve responses.
In summary, companies should request particular information about the personnel responsible for the technology from potential vendors.
2. The Data
For AI-based systems to function effectively, enormous volumes of data are required. Therefore, prospective customers should check the volume of data that IT providers are gathering and make sure that they are gathering that data from a variety of sources.
3. Make that the AI improves over time.
Over time, true artificial intelligence becomes smarter. Therefore, prospective clients should enquire of providers how their AI software improves and what choices the AI is capable of.
Additionally, businesses should ask providers how much connection with humans is required and whether AI can support the job of human employees. AI and people can accomplish more when they work together than when they do so alone. If the vendors are unable to completely respond to such queries, they are probably washing the AI.
4. Make the Right Inquiries
Self-described AI vendors should be approached by buyers with a strong grain of suspicion. Assume they aren’t offering AI-related goods or services, and let the vendors substantiate their claims. Customers should enquire of vendors what specific artificial intelligence technology they use and how they intend to keep abreast of new developments in the field.
How To Prevent AI Cleaning
It only serves to mislead end-user firms as more and more startups and established vendors refer to themselves as “AI vendors” and assert that they offer AI products and/or services without describing how their solutions vary from the thousands of others on the market.
Vendors should create collections of case studies that detail the quantifiable outcomes their clients have achieved with artificial intelligence in order to gain the trust of these customers. Additionally, it’s crucial for these vendors to appropriately describe their “AI” solutions in their sales and marketing materials, spell out how their AI differs from those of their rivals, and specify the problems that their AI resolves for clients.
Additionally, AI vendors must demonstrate to customers that their employees possess the qualifications required to carry out AI-related jobs, such as an understanding of programming languages, neural network topologies, statistics, linear algebra, and signal processing methods. Instead of just providing cutting-edge technology, vendors must show prospective clients how their AI software can enhance process automation and decision-making as well as provide solutions that aid buyers in solving their business problems.
Although practically every business is having its workplace of the future shaped by artificial intelligence, the excitement around the technology can be hazardous. If manufacturers keep using the phrase “AI” incorrectly, it’ll probably end up being just another, largely ignored marketing buzzword. Additionally, if vendors continue to misrepresent AI, investors will probably cease funding the technology, public confidence in AI will decline, and the entire sector will suffer.
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