CBA is testing the federal government's AI ethics principles
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has revealed that testing the federal government's artificial intelligence (AI) ethics principles during the creation and design of its Commbank app feature Bill Sense, giving insight into how the bank could apply responsible AI at scale.
“CBA regularly uses AI to deliver features and experiences that are highly personalised, easy-to-use and add value for customers during every interaction. It was incredibly valuable collaborating with the government and other businesses on testing Australia’s national AI ethics principles in various situations,” said CBA Chief Decision Scientist, Dan Jermyn.
CBA is one of six organisations that has been working with the government since 2019 to better drive the adoption of ethical and responsible AI in Australia. They volunteered to trial a series of eight AI principles that were developed as part of the national AI ethics framework in real-world scenarios.
The eight ethics principles that were developed for the framework included: Human, social and environmental wellbeing; human-centre values in respect to human rights, diversity, and the autonomy of individuals; fairness; privacy protection and security of data; reliability and safety in accordance to the intended purpose of the AI systems; transparency and explainability; contestability; and accountability.
The ethics principles were developed following the release of a discussion paper earlier this year by Data61, the digital innovation arm of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
“Given the importance we place on using AI technology and the investment we’ve made into AI systems, participating and contributing to the government pilot was an easy decision for us. We see the government’s AI ethics framework as being essential when developing complex AI systems to help ensure AI is being used responsibly to improve financial wellbeing of customers and communities,” said Jermyn.
The Bill Sense feature in the CommBank was designed in accordance with the national AI ethics framework to help customers plan and stay in control of their regular payments and subscriptions up to 12 months in advance.
“Our well-established processes and governance, including around data safety and security, help CBA to apply AI safely and with the right accountabilities,” added Jermyn.
ManageEngine Survey Finds Global AI Use Increase
ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, has announced results from its recent market study, The 2021 Digital Readiness Survey, finding that 86% of organisations worldwide are using artificial intelligence (AI) more than they did two years ago. However, only 35% of the global respondents reported that their confidence in the technology has significantly increased.
The focus of the study was to understand technological changes in a post-COVID world, in areas such as remote work, security, business analytics, and AI. It was found that organisations worldwide mainly increased their use of AI to improve business analytics (63%), increase operational efficiency (62%) and enhance the customer experience (60%). While a majority of global respondents (94%) believe that AI will meet business expectations—and 65% stated AI had delivered measurable business results—some fears remain around the technology’s performance.
“The potential for AI to improve business efficiency and the customer experience was firmly on show through 2020, with AI handling everything from increased customer service volumes to oversight of self-service processes,” said Rajesh Ganesan, vice president at ManageEngine. “While AI is being handed more responsibility and is applied in more business-critical use cases, our research shows this is a double-edged sword and that more work is needed to embrace the technology and lift internal capability to ensure AI achieves its promise.”
Is business analytics the key to success?
The growing use of AI coincides with a broader trend of using analytics to improve the use of available data and the speed and accuracy of decision-making. In the post-pandemic era, profitability and competition are also driving organisations across the world to invest in business analytics platforms and capabilities.
Business analytics is an umbrella term for several types of analytics—descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive.
The biggest user of business analytics by far is IT. An average of 63% of IT departments worldwide cited this in the survey. However, in North America, 67% of executives noted their use of business analytics, which was higher than their IT departments’ use (61%). Business areas such as marketing, sales, human resources, operations and R&D are also showing interest in business analytics but are well behind IT and executives on adoption and actual use.
Other key global findings of the survey
– A mighty 96% of organisations are planning to continue supporting remote workers for the next two years. Concerningly, the report also found that 84% of IT professionals believe that remote workers have increased their enterprise’s security risk.
– More than half (56%) of respondents stated that improving their security infrastructure is a key driver of adopting new technologies.
– 78% of organisations revealed that remote workers download software without obtaining approval from the IT department; this shadow IT mainly included mobile-specific applications (40%), online meeting tools (38%) and document sharing solutions (31%).
– 84% of respondents use more cloud services now than they did before the pandemic began. However, most respondents believe that improved security (56%), performance (52%) and reliability (51%) would increase their company’s confidence in cloud-based solutions.