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Another Inconvenient Truth: The Societal Emergency of AI Incidents - We Should Do Something About It 1

Sonsoles de la Lastra Olalquiaga, IE University

Dr. Richard Benjamins, Observatory for Social and Ethical Impact of AI

In today's tech-driven world, artificial intelligence (AI) holds immense promise for shaping our future. From revolutionizing industries to enhancing everyday experiences, AI has the potential to bring about transformative change. However, amidst the excitement, there are significant societal risks as evidenced by several AI incidents, as highlighted in "Another Inconvenient Truth: The Societal Emergency of AI Incidents - We Should Do Something About It" by Sonsoles de la Lastra Olalquiaga and Dr. Richard Benjamins.

Through a rigorous analysis of over 750 documented incidents worldwide sourced from the OECD’s AI incidents monitor and the AIAAIC Repository, we open our eyes to the reality that, while AI offers great promise, it also presents risks, particularly for vulnerable communities. Instances of "non-physical harm" account for a striking 96% of these incidents, ranging from algorithmic bias to data privacy breaches and misinformation dissemination. These incidents underscore the need for cautious and responsible deployment of AI technologies.

Geographically, AI incidents are concentrated in regions like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, highlighting the global nature of the issue. This geographical insight emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts and international cooperation in addressing these challenges effectively. By sharing best practices, exchanging knowledge, and establishing common frameworks, stakeholders can work together to mitigate the risks associated with AI deployment and ensure its responsible use across borders.

The report also delves into the role of major tech corporations in managing AI's ethical challenges. From ensuring algorithmic transparency to addressing biases in AI systems, these corporations play a crucial role in shaping the future of AI. However, the report underscores the importance of corporate accountability and responsible practices in navigating the ethical complexities of AI development and deployment.


Despite these challenges, there's an opportunity for positive change. Through transparent and ethical AI deployment, we can leverage its potential to address pressing societal issues, from healthcare and education to climate change and social justice. "Another Inconvenient Truth" serves as a call to action, urging policymakers, industry leaders, and researchers to navigate the complexities of AI responsibly. 

It's essential to acknowledge the possible negative effects of artificial intelligence on society in order to collaborate toward a future in which AI maximizes its outstanding potential. 

The report can be downloaded in the following link:

Descargar PDF • 10.06MB

  1.  Title inspired by Al Gore's groundbreaking book, "An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It” (2006)



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