What role does ethics play in a future filled with digital transformation, AI and driverless cars?

By

EY Oceania

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

2 minute read 31 Oct 2019
Related topics AI Transportation Trust Advisory

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“What role does ethics play in a future filled with digital transformation, AI and driverless cars?”

In 20 years’ time, we won’t run for the train, tram or bus. The transformation of our transport systems, underpinned by AI and driverless car technology, means we’ll walk calmly out the front door and be met by whatever ride-sharing facility we prefer. 

It’s a future that isn’t far off. But it is far from assured. If technology such as AI isn’t understood and embraced by the Australian public, the entire country risks missing out.

“While other economies have developed comprehensive strategies to unlock the value of AI, we have been slow off the mark, fuelled by misunderstanding and distrust,” says Ernst & Young Australia Director, Christina Larkin.

It’s not just seamless, door-to-door transport in the crosshairs. AI is estimated to be worth as much $2.2 trillion to Australia’s economy, through gains in sectors such as energy, agriculture and financial services.

“We have a very small window of opportunity. The onus is on us to act now or we will be at risk of losing consumer and corporate trust in AI and in turn the economic benefits. We might actually miss the AI boat,” says Larkin. To meet the looming demands of consumers and business, bridging the gap between government and private enterprise needs to happen willingly and with a focus on innovative solutions.

“In the future, timetables won’t be driving our public transport,customer demand will. And government and private enterprise will need to come together willingly to meet the demand” says David Larocca, EY Oceania Leader, Transaction Services. “And government and private enterprise will need to come together willingly to meet the demand.”

“Innovation in mobility technology will bring more automation, more intelligence, and continually re-shape how we’ll get from A to B and how we’ll live.”

Smarter use of technology is more than just sharing databases. The public needs reassurance that there will be checks and balances in place. And we need to address this early on.

“We’re seeing leaders, developers, committees and even countries discuss AI, talking about bias and accessibility,” says Claire Payne, EY Fellow for Trust and Ethics. “We should ask these questions when we are in the design phase, when we are building and testing solutions and after new initiatives have been launched.”

We need to understand that technology is more than a vehicle for avoiding a mad sprint to the bus stop. “It’s up to us,” says Payne, “to ensure that we use technology for good.”

Summary

To realise the true benefits of AI for the country's future benefit, we need to put ethics at the heart of all our decisions.

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By

EY Oceania

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

Related topics AI Transportation Trust Advisory