Article: 55% Indian employers acknowledge existence of data bias


55% Indian employers acknowledge existence of data bias

Lack of awareness, understanding, and expert resources, including access to data scientists, are significant barriers to addressing data bias for organisations, according to new Progress survey.
55% Indian employers acknowledge existence of data bias

Organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)  for decision-making, with a whopping 55 per cent expecting to increase their reliance on the technology this year. However, as dependence on AI/ML grows, 69 per cent of organisations anticipate a heightened concern over potential data bias, reveals new survey by Progress, which provides application development and infrastructure software.

Biases are often inherited by cultural and personal experiences. When data is collected and used in the training of machine learning models, the models inherit the bias of the people building them, producing unexpected and potentially harmful outcomes. Yet, despite the potential legal and financial pitfalls associated with data bias, there is a lack of understanding around the training, processes and technology needed to tackle data bias successfully.

78 per cent of business and IT decision makers believe data bias will become a bigger concern as AI/ML use increases, but only 13 per cent are currently addressing it and have an ongoing evaluation process.The biggest barriers they see are lack of awareness of potential biases, understanding how to identify bias as well as the lack of available expert resources, such as having access to data scientists.

According to the survey, despite 55 per cent of organisations acknowledging the existence of data bias within their organisation, 63 per cent of respondents consider lack of awareness and understanding as significant barriers to addressing it. Additionally, the lack of available expert resources, such as access to data scientists, is also a challenge.

However, the survey results show that 82 per cent of respondents in India see technology as a crucial tool in the fight against data bias. Furthermore, 57 per cent of organisations believe that data bias could have serious social consequences if not addressed.

Prasanna Anireddy, VP, Engineering, Progress said data bias is a critical concern for organisation in India, as it has the potential to impact not only business outcomes, but also wider trends and opportunities in society. “Having a sustainable approach to fighting data bias will enable organisations to embrace decision automation and build more trust around the use of AI. Organisations require guidance to effectively navigate the complex issues surrounding the issue, and the survey has identified important gaps that need to be addressed," she added.

“Every day, bias can negatively impact business operations and decision making – from governance and lost customer trust to financial implications and potential legal and ethical exposure,” added John Ainsworth, EVP and General Manager, Application and Data Platform, Progress.

Commissioned by Progress, the survey, “Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI,” was conducted by UK-based research firm Insight Avenue. The study's findings are based on interviews with business and IT professionals located across the Americas, Europe and Asia, focused on the use of data in decision making. These professionals come from organisations with over 500 employees to better understand the overall awareness of data bias, how it was impacting businesses and what companies were doing to address it.

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Topics: Technology, #DigitalTransformation

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