The Risks of Generative AI: Governing the Future

Introduction: Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful technology with the ability to create realistic and creative content, ranging from images and videos to text and music. While generative AI has immense potential for innovation and creativity, it also poses risks that must be carefully addressed. In this blog post, we will explore the risks associated with generative AI and discuss the importance of effective governance by organizations to ensure responsible and ethical use of this technology.

The Power and Pitfalls of Generative AI: Generative AI systems, such as deep learning models like GPT-3, can generate highly convincing content that mimics human creativity. However, these systems rely on vast amounts of training data, making them prone to biases and amplifying the existing societal and cultural prejudices present in the data. This can lead to the perpetuation of stereotypes or the creation of harmful and offensive content.

Another concern with generative AI is the potential for misuse and malicious intent. These systems can be used to create deepfakes, fabricate misleading information, or impersonate individuals, which can have serious consequences in various domains, including politics, journalism, and cybersecurity. The ease of access to generative AI tools amplifies these risks, as even individuals with limited technical knowledge can utilize them for harmful purposes.

Some questions CISO’s should ask internally include:

·      Do we need AI?

o   What problem are we trying to solve?

o   Do we need new techniques to solve it?

o   Can it be solved through data?

·      Is it worth it?

o   Can we define what success looks like?

o   Are there any privacy/ confidentiality impacts?

o   How do we vet the AI provider?

·      Are we ready to use AI?

o   Do we have in-house expertise?

o   How good is our data? (garbage in, garbage out)?

o   Do we have Governance and Contingency in place? (Usage and controls)?

Some questions CISO’s should ask Generative AI vendors include:

  • How can we view/control data used by the solution?
  • Does the solution send data outside of our organization (call home)?
  • What are the relevant security and performance metrics to measure the results from AI?
  • Are there peer reviews of the solution?
  • How much staff and time are required to maintain the solution?
  • How does your solution integrate into our enterprise workflow? 
  • Does your solution integrate with third-party security solutions?

Depending on the answers, leaders may decide the costs and risks outweigh the benefits and decide to skip the extra expense.

The Need for Governance: To address the risks associated with generative AI, organizations must establish effective governance frameworks. Here are some key principles and practices that organizations should consider:

1.     Ethical Guidelines: Organizations should develop clear ethical guidelines that outline the responsible use of generative AI. These guidelines should address issues such as bias mitigation, avoiding harm, respecting privacy, and upholding human rights. It is crucial to involve multidisciplinary teams that include ethicists, domain experts, and AI practitioners in developing these guidelines.

2.     Transparency and Explainability: Generative AI systems should be designed to provide transparency and explainability. Users and stakeholders should have insights into how the AI system works, its limitations, and the data it was trained on. This fosters trust and enables the identification of potential biases or errors.

3.     Data Quality and Diversity: Organizations must ensure high-quality and diverse training data to mitigate biases and improve the fairness of generative AI models. Data collection processes should involve diverse voices and perspectives, representing different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

4.     Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation: Regular monitoring and evaluation of generative AI systems are essential to identify any biases or unintended consequences that may emerge over time. Organizations should implement mechanisms to receive feedback from users and subject the AI systems to external audits.

5.     Collaboration and Regulation: Collaboration between industry, academia, policymakers, and civil society is crucial in shaping the governance of generative AI. By engaging in open discussions and collaborative initiatives, stakeholders can collectively address challenges, share best practices, and propose regulations that promote responsible use.

Conclusion: Generative AI presents exciting opportunities for innovation and creativity, but it also carries inherent risks. Organizations must recognize the importance of governing generative AI technologies effectively. By adhering to ethical guidelines, ensuring transparency and explainability, promoting data quality and diversity, monitoring and evaluating systems, and fostering collaboration, organizations can mitigate risks and harness the full potential of generative AI in a responsible and ethical manner. By doing so, we can shape a future where AI serves as a force for positive change while upholding societal values and preserving human dignity

Sign up for our Newsletter

Receive weekly emails for the latest cybersecurity news

Expand your team with Foresite

Enterprise-level cybersecurity and risk management for mid-sized businesses. Prioritize your security tasks and reduce the complexity of cybersecurity.