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How to mitigate AI risks

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

While artificial intelligence poses plenty of positives for businesses, there are some headwinds employers may have to overcome when rolling it out across the business.

One of the biggest challenges with AI is the fear that it brings. AI and automation have the potential to wipe out a huge number of roles. May alone saw nearly 4,000 jobs lost to AI.

People are understandably worried. There’s even a site called Will Robots Take My Job?, where you can search your profession and get a calculated risk level.


Business Insider listed 10 jobs that are likely to be lost to AI:

  1. Tech jobs
  2. Media jobs
  3. Legal jobs
  4. Market research analysts
  5. Teachers
  6. Finance jobs
  7. Traders
  8. Graphic designers
  9. Accountants
  10. Customer service agents

Another top challenge for implementation is the costs involved. Tech can prove quite expensive, especially emerging tech like AI.

Costs can be anywhere between $1 million and $10 million for in-house products. This is no small number, especially for small businesses that don’t earn nearly that much in revenue.

While vendors can cost $100,000 annually for the same service, this isn’t much consolation for those who cannot afford to implement these systems. This is where the fear surrounding AI comes into play, as businesses could be worried about whether they’ll get left behind by competitors if they don’t adopt this technology.

Biases can also be an issue in the use of AI. While these systems can be great for reducing unconscious bias in recruitment, there is still room for these issues to show. AI systems will draw from historical data, which may reinforce biases and stereotypes.

Outdated opinions may be able to work their way back into discussion, which is a detriment to growth. This is where the reliance of AI should be questioned.

Relying on this tech can sometimes lead to serious issues. As this technology is fairly new, emerging issues can become common after the fact, and putting too much faith in AI could lead to trouble down the road.

Digital Leaders discussed the problem of over-reliance on AI, noting four key points to consider:

  • We can’t troubleshoot systems we don’t understand.
  • We have yet to adequately confront ethical concerns.
  • The world of employment is fundamentally delicate.
  • Idle hands often produce dissatisfaction.

Another potential problem that can come from over-reliance is the concept of “process debt”.

“Process debt, like technical debt, refers to the long-term negative consequences of making short-term decisions in business processes,” explained PA Times.

“These decisions are usually made to expedite results or cut corners, and while they may yield immediate benefits, they often lead to complications, inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the future.

“Process debt is not only limited to project management but also extends to other areas of an organisation, such as customer service, human resources and finance.”

The argument here is that an increased dependence on AI could lead to a reduction in human oversight, ultimately causing errors.

These worries have caused some to call for government regulation of AI. While the business world is hardly the most pressing concern in the rise of this technology (that’s reserved for weapons), continued development has the potential to spiral out of control.

Organisations can do their part to prepare for any potential issues by not going overboard in implementation before understanding the true risks and benefits.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.