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  • Writer's pictureDr. Patrick E. Crawford

AI and Leadership

Leadership Thoughts | Issue #119

I recently chatted with four of my favorite thought partners - Chuck and Genny Schwahn, Bea McGarvey, and Jessica Enderson about artificial intelligence (AI). We all share a passion for staying current on the latest innovations. Jessica and I are particularly fond of using AI tools in consultancy, course development, and leadership coaching. Meanwhile, Chuck, Genny, and Bea are exploring the possibilities of AI as an educational transformation tool. Jessica is also working on a promising project with well-respected technology leaders to develop an AI tool for educators. While we had no predetermined agenda for this discussion among friends, we wanted to talk about what AI is, its current use, possible applications to education, the responsibility of leaders, and our concerns.

Jessica showed some of the things ChatGPT can generate and gave examples of her work creating a new educational instrument. I displayed some documents created by ChatGPT, like a lesson plan on why the U.S. joined WWII or a book review for Inevitable that answered, "What is mass customized learning?". We also discussed other AI applications, from spellcheckers to voice cloning.

Bea McGarvey is an expert in instruction and the development of learning opportunities. She explained how and why it is vital to strengthen our brains by struggling through the thought process. One concern with AI is the 'use it or lose it' syndrome. Will AI contribute to the dumbing down of our society? Another concern from the conversation is the potential for inaccurate information and biases from AI.

Questions to Consider

At the moment, conversations about artificial intelligence (AI) and its risks to human safety are at a national and international level. But there is also an urgent need for discussions among friends, colleagues, and organizational leaders about AI's positives and negatives. I don't think politicians should try or can alter technology development. Those who create and use AI will decide whether it turns out to be beneficial or potentially harmful. Ultimately, it will be down to consumers to recognize the possible dangers of using AI. Now is the time to consider the questions. Remember, good leaders ask great questions. Here are some examples.

  1. What good and bad consequences might result? Contemplate the advantages of AI, such as greater productivity, cheaper costs, or better decisions. At the same time, assess and counter potential pitfalls that can arise from it, like partiality, security flaws, job loss, and ethical issues.

  2. What can be done to make sure AI programs are fair and unbiased? Artificial Intelligence applications are only as good as the data used to train them; sometimes, this data will contain unconscious biases and inaccurate information. It is important to examine ways of finding and decreasing hidden biases and recognizing false information throughout creating an AI system to guarantee accurate and impartial results.

  3. What are the legal and ethical considerations? Understand the legal and ethical implications of AI adoption, including privacy, data protection, intellectual property, and compliance with regulations.

  4. What criteria will we use to evaluate success and keep track of performance? Identify precise metrics and indicators to assess the success and functioning of AI ventures. Set up feedback loops to monitor results, update, and advance AI systems over time.

  5. What steps can be taken to ensure that AI is held to appropriate standards? We must strive for transparency in AI systems so that their outputs can be explained and justified, especially in mission-critical sectors like healthcare, education, or finance. Additionally, mechanisms must be developed and implemented, allowing for human oversight of the AI system and accountability when there are mistakes.

  6. What is the best way to cultivate a responsible relationship with AI? By providing educational resources on how to use and understand AI responsibly and ethically. People must be instructed on what it can do and taught how to respect its power.

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg for leaders to ponder regarding AI implementation in their organizations. In addition, involving key stakeholders - data scientists, ethicists, legal advisors, and domain experts - is vital to ensure that decision-making encompasses a broad perspective.


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