What might ethical leadership look like in practice when it comes to AI and other advanced technologies?

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This blog first appeared here on the Responsible City website, an initiative led by the City of London Corporation, as part of a series of interviews for the Business of Trust programme led by The Lord Mayor of London. 

Q&A series with Tracey Groves, founder and director of Intelligent Ethics on AI and ethics:

In practice, ethical leadership will look far more inclusive by nature.  When it comes to embracing AI and other advanced technologies, ethical leadership will consider the diverse needs and requirements of a variety of different stakeholder groups. This includes not only customers and employees, but citizens and wider society, as well as the more traditional groups, such as investors.

There will be more transparent leadership demanded by stakeholders in order to become an ethical leader.  This will drive leaders to express not only why they are using the technology, but also how it’s being used and what the outcomes will be, so as to assess whether a positive impact is being delivered both from a business and a wider society perspective.

​Ethical leadership will align the corporate values with the purpose of the organisation.  From an AI perspective, this will mean that the impact of new technologies will be monitored and accessed in line with what it was intended to do.  When you achieve congruence between the business’s values and its corporate purpose, then you create an integrity of effect that will create higher levels of trust and trustworthiness.

It is critical that ethical leadership is curious.  When it comes to implementing new technology it needs to ask questions such as: just because a process can be automated and a system can be part of an intelligent machine, should it be?  It’s also important that ethical leadership has the ability to engage and develop relationships by creating an open feedback loop in order to continuously monitor and assess the impact of AI and advanced technologies.