How to improve AI for IT by focusing on data quality

Whether you’re choosing a restaurant or deciding where to live, data lets you make better decisions in your everyday life. If you want to buy a new TV, for example, you might spend hours looking up ratings, reading expert reviews, scouring blogs and social media, researching the warranties and return policies of different stores and brands, and learning about different types of technologies. Ultimately, the decision you make is a reflection of the data you have. And if you don’t have the data—or if your data is bad—you probably won’t make the best possible choice.

In the workplace, a lack of quality data can lead to disastrous results. The darker side of AI is filled with bias, hallucinations, and untrustworthy results—often driven by poor-quality data.

The reality is that data fuels AI, so if we want to improve AI, we need to start with data. AI doesn’t have emotion. It takes whatever data you feed it and uses it to provide results. One recent Enterprise Strategy Group research report noted, “Data is food for AI, and what’s true for humans is also true for AI: You are what you eat. Or, in this case, the better the data, the better the AI.”

But AI doesn’t know if its models are fed good or bad data— which is why it’s crucial to focus on improving the data quality to get the best results from AI for IT use cases.

Quality is the leading challenge identified by business stakeholders

When asked about the obstacles their organization has faced while implementing AI, 31% of business stakeholders involved with AI infrastructure purchases had a clear #1 answer: the lack of quality data. In fact, data quality ranked as a higher concern than costs, data privacy, and other challenges.

Why does data quality matter so much? Consider OpenAI’s GPT 4, which scored in the 92nd percentile and above on three medical exams, which failed two of the three tests. GPT 4 is trained on larger and more recent datasets, which makes a substantial difference.

An AI fueled by poor-quality data isn’t accurate or trustworthy. Garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes. And if you can’t trust your AI, how can you expect your IT team to use it to complement and simplify their efforts?

The many downsides of using poor-quality data to train IT-related AI models

As you dig deeper into the trust issue, it’s important to understand that many employees are inherently wary of AI, as with any new technology. In this case, however, the reluctance is often justified.

Anyone who spends five minutes playing around with a generative AI tool (and asking it to explain its answers) will likely see that hallucinations and bias in AI are commonplace. This is one reason why the top challenges of implementing AI include difficulty validating results and employee hesitancy to trust recommendations.

While price isn’t typically the primary concern regarding data, there is still a significant price cost to training and fine-tuning AI on poor-quality data. The computational resources needed for modern AI aren’t cheap, as any CIO will tell you. If you’re using valuable server time to crunch low-quality data, you’re wasting your budget on building an untrustworthy AI. So starting with well-structured data is imperative.

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Buying Advice to Tackle AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management

In this technologically dominated era, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) has become a trend in numerous industries across the globe. With this development of technology, AI brings potential risks like malicious attacks, data leakage, and tampering.

Thus, companies are going beyond traditional security measures and developing technology to secure AI applications and services and ensure they are ethical and secure. This revolutionary discipline and framework is known as AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management (AI TRiSM), which makes AI models reliable, trustworthy, private, and secure.

In this article, we will explore how chief information security officers (CISOs) can strategize an AI-TRiSM environment in the workplace.

Five Steps on How C-suite Can Promote Trustworthy AI in Their Organization 

The emergence of new technologies is likely to drive more potential risks; however, with the help of these five essential steps, CISOs and their teams can promote AI TRiSM solutions:

Defining AI Trust Across Different Departments

At its core, AI trust is the confidence that employees and other stakeholders have in a company that governs its digital assets. AI trust is driven by data accessibility, transparency, reliability, security, privacy, control, ethics, and responsibility. A CISO’s role is to educate employees on the concept of AI trust and how it is established inside a company, which differs depending on the industry and stakeholders. 

Develop an AI trust framework that helps achieve your organization’s strategic goals, such as improving customer connections, maximizing operational excellence, and empowering business processes that are essential to your value proposition. Once built, implement methods for measuring and improving your AI trust performance over time.

Ensure a Collaborative Leadership Mindset

As IT organizations rely on technology for back-office operations and customer-facing applications, IT leaders face the challenge of balancing business and technical risks, potentially leading to prioritizing one over the other.

CISOs and IT experts should evaluate the data risks and vulnerabilities that may exist in various business processes, such as finance, procurement, employee benefits, marketing, and other operations. For example, marketing and cybersecurity professionals might collaborate to determine what consumer data can be safely extracted, how it can be safeguarded, and how to communicate with customers accordingly.

As a CISO, you can adopt a federated model of accountability for AI trust that unites the C-suite around the common objective of seamless operation without hampering customers’ and organizations’ data. 

In conclusion, as businesses grapple with growing datasets and complicated regulatory environments, AI emerges as a powerful tool for overcoming these issues, ensuring efficiency and dependability in risk management and compliance. AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management (AI TRiSM) may assist businesses in protecting their AI applications and services from possible threats while ensuring they are utilized responsibly and compliantly.
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