Responsible AI adoption: 5 steps every startup must take

Integrating artificial intelligence in a startup involves both risks and benefits. Here is a 5 step guide to help your business build a responsible AI system.

Responsible AI adoption: 5 steps every startup must take

Thursday December 21, 2023,

3 min Read

AI is an accelerating new domain that’s gaining traction worldwide. Like any other tech trend, companies are tempted to incorporate artificial intelligence into their business. However, AI has also seen huge backlash from its applications such as deepfakes.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced the introduction of new laws to tackle widespread deep fake AI content last month. Moreover, the European Union has proposed the first-ever law to regulate risky AI systems.

With rising concerns around generative AI which means they will not go unnoticed by investors. To avoid getting the shorter end of the stick, businesses have to focus on creating AI programs that are compliant and safe to use.

In light of these events, the United States Department of Commerce partnered with Responsible Innovation Labs (RIL) to create a 5-step protocol to promote responsible use of AI by startups. In this article, we will discuss these steps in detail.

Steps to ensure responsible use of AI

Step 1: Get approval from the higher-ups

Getting the green signal from stakeholders and investors is crucial to introducing a responsible AI program into your business. By conducting meetings, a startup can have an open discussion about bringing an AI system into business operations.

So, try to include professionals from various departments who can share their views on this new technology and enlighten how it can help the company to scale. In short, being upfront with the approval is a necessary step to keep everyone on the same page and smoothly integrate AI.

Step 2: Weigh the risks and benefits

Next, you need to assess the good and bad. Measure your AI tool's reliability, transparency, security, etc. Remember to scrutinise AI bias thoroughly and look out for vulnerabilities in that AI system that can cause potential harm and how they can be mitigated.

While doing so, keep in mind how users, private investors and AI regulators would want to know about the risk assessment.

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Step 3: Monitor and test your AI program

Once the risks and benefits are clear, your company can build the desired AI product. After the final product is ready, continuous testing and auditing is mandatory to understand the technology. This can be quite helpful to find out any loopholes in certain use cases of utilising AI and find solutions to minimise them.

Apart from that, startups should inform users with comprehensive instructions on the usage of AI, when human supervision is required and details of the AI model.


Step 4: Be transparent to foster trust

Entrepreneurs should openly state how their AI models or products align with their business's mission. RIL has suggested a useful method in their guidelines that encourages entrepreneurs to release a value statement. By doing so, a startup can communicate how their company aims to use this AI tech, its risks and how they are working to mitigate it.

Step 5: Make continuous improvements

With AI in your business, there will always be scope for implementing improved strategies while being transparent about the changes being made to the AI system. This also means that everyone, including authoritative stakeholders and investors, is aware of the ongoing changes.

Be upfront about any future risks associated and ensure the AI models are always running efficiently with minimum bias.

The bottom line

In a nutshell, artificial intelligence is an exciting technology but startups need to be careful when building AI models amidst rising concerns about its security and bias. Regardless, making an AI product is a great opportunity that comes with risks which need to be thoroughly assessed beforehand.