AI for Marketers: Steering Through AI with Lessons from the Road

Nadio Granata writer, tutor and mentor at Professional Academy

The Evolution of Motoring and AI Ethics for Marketers  

The motor car when it first graced our roads, was a sight to behold. Yet, it brought with it challenges that needed navigating. Today, AI for Marketers stands at a similar juncture, promising yet fraught with ethical complexities.

AI Lessons from Motoring's History

1. Introduction of Indicators:

Just as indicators on cars provided a means to communicate intentions, transparency in AI algorithms is crucial for understanding and trusting AI decisions.

2. Speed Limits for Safety:

Speed limits were introduced to keep roads safe. In AI, this translates to regulating the pace of AI deployment, ensuring it is safe and ethical before widespread use.

3. The Seat Belt of Data Privacy: 

The introduction of seat belts revolutionized car safety. Similarly, robust data privacy measures are the 'seat belts' of AI, crucial for user safety.

4. Drink Driving Laws and AI Accountability:

Strict laws against drink driving increased accountability. In AI, clear guidelines are needed to determine who is accountable for AI decisions – the developers, the users, or the AI itself.

5. Speed Bumps - Slowing Down for Caution:

The introduction of speed bumps made drivers slow down in sensitive areas. Similarly, in AI development, we need 'speed bumps' - checkpoints where we assess ethical implications and societal impact.

Vignette: But which side of the road should we drive on?

The decision on which side of the road to drive on has evolved over time and varies by country. This practice dates back centuries and has roots in historical and cultural factors. Historically, most people are right-handed, and in the past, when riders and horse-drawn carriages were common, traveling on the left side of the road was more practical and safer. This allowed riders to have their right hand free to greet others or defend themselves with a sword.

The shift in some countries to driving on the right is often attributed to practical reasons related to specific types of wagons and later, to the design of certain vehicles. For instance, in France, a decree of 1792 started the move towards right-hand traffic, and Napoleon's conquests spread this system across Europe.
In contrast, the United Kingdom and its former colonies, including India, Australia, and South Africa, continue to drive on the left. This practice has been maintained since the times when horse-drawn vehicles were common.

The United States adopted right-hand driving in the late 1700s and early 1800s, partially influenced by the design of freight wagons drawn by large teams of horses. The driver sat on the rear left horse, so it was easier to drive on the road's right side to see oncoming traffic There isn't a single date when the world decided which side of the road to drive on; it evolved differently in various places, influenced by a mix of historical, cultural, and practical factors.

Conclusion: The Road to Ethical Maturity for AI Marketers

As with cars, the journey to make AI ethical and user-friendly is ongoing. The introduction of seat belts, speed limits, and other regulations made driving safer and more accessible. We are now at a point where we must develop similar 'safety features' for AI.

As we ponder the parallels between the evolution of cars and AI, we have the opportunity to learn from the past and navigate AI towards a future that is not only innovative but also safe and ethical. Marketers should embrace this journey with the wisdom of our motoring history, ensuring AI is a tool that benefits all, just as the car eventually has.

Final Thought: what other parallels do you draw? What about driving licences? Should we introduce the equivalent for users of generative AI? If not, why not?

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