Tame that AI ‘beast,’ please

Tame that AI ‘beast,’ please

Edwin Concepcion: Tame that AI ‘beast,’ please

Edwin Concepcion —Contributed photo

There is no question that artificial intelligence (AI) is making life so much easier in almost all fields of human endeavor.

But, just like previous new technologies and scientific breakthroughs, it also lends itself to misuse and abuse. Horror stories are already being told of scammers and hackers using AI to steal money from unsuspecting victims.


For Straits Interactive, the solution to these and other problems with AI is to tame the beast, so to speak, and ensure it is used to ease life, provide greater convenience and facilitate business transactions.


Straits Interactive offers AI governance training which, according to Edwin Concepcion, Philippine country manager, “involves the education of individuals based on principles, best practices and regulations to ensure the ethical and responsible use of AI.”

The Singapore-based company helps organizations create trust in today’s data-driven world by delivering sustainable data governance solutions. A trusted advisor to small and medium enterprises, multinational corporations, and data protection authorities in the region, it provides comprehensive competency, consulting, and capability road maps in data protection and governance.

Concepcion says Straits Interactive’s training covers AI technology understanding, bias recognition, implementation of data privacy measures, transparency, and regulation compliance. The training can benefit many professionals, such as data scientists, engineers, analysts, and policymakers.

“I think people need training within the area to ensure that potential risks like biased decision-making and privacy violations are minimized. In return, by investing in such training, organizations foster trust in AI systems, promoting responsible and sustainable use of the technology,” he says.

Preventing misuse and abuse of AI

The company, Concepcion says, is launching a postgraduate certificate program to equip professionals with AI skills to compete in the new business environment where the use of the technology is growing.

The AI Business Professional, undertaken in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management under the School of Executive Education, will enable participants “to responsibly adopt and deploy generative AI initiatives, which will form part of the future for many organizations.”


From experience, Concepcion says training and education about AI governance, while ensuring that collaborative stakeholder management is established and maintained, will prevent misuse and abuse of the new technology.

“Fostering a culture of accountability and transparency is also crucial. To achieve this, organizations need to establish a governance structure that is able to test certain components, such as coding security, engineering privacy, audits, and performance evaluation transparency. Additionally, implementing checks and balances, such as oversight committees and whistleblower protection, further ensures accountability,” he stresses.

But while AI governance may be worth investing in, Concepcion says whether or not an independent unit must oversee that field will depend on the organizational strategy that is in place. In most instances, he says, technology adoption is spearheaded within the information and technology departments, each of which would include AI.

Concepcion prefers an integrated organizational strategy, “as it will maximize the benefits and address risks associated with AI and other new technologies. It should incorporate continuous monitoring so that the system can be maintained efficiently and also offer accountability.”

He adds that collaboration with both internal stakeholders and external interested parties should be maintained for a holistic approach to the development, adoption, operation, and monitoring of AI systems.

Risks and pitfalls

With the increasing number of reports of AI misuse and abuse, Concepcion says public and private entities should be aware of several issues about Generative AI to ensure that their systems do not cause problems.

“In business areas such as customer service, AI-powered chatbots may inadvertently expose sensitive information. The other issue organizations need to be mindful of is ensuring that the appropriate data set is fed to the AI systems, to guard against potential biases and data leaks, so that confidential company data are not disclosed to unauthorized users. Furthermore, there is a risk of leaking proprietary or personal data when general users utilize public domain AI tools for specialized queries and document analysis or creation,” he cautions.

To avoid these potentially disastrous situations, Concepcion says organizations must ensure they feed only the appropriate data set to AI systems and that a secure environment is maintained.

Even as companies and organizations should be taking steps to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI, Concepcion says there is also a need to create greater public awareness of the risks and pitfalls of adopting AI systems.

“One pitfall is the question around the ethics of the data collection and processing, which could pose privacy risks, as our research in August 2023 demonstrated. Meanwhile, another piece of research covering 113 popular apps (applications) highlights that many generative AI apps fall short of GDPR (general data protection regulation) and AI Transparency Standards,” he says.

Awareness of the risks

Concepcion adds, “As AI transitions from content creation to content generation, we can expect more privacy, security, and ethical-related breaches, whether through malice, accident, or ignorance and I believe it is essential that we address them.”

Fortunately, awareness among Filipinos of the risks involved in AI systems continues to increase, he reports. A recent Ipsos Global Advisor 2024 Predictions survey found that 64 percent of Filipino respondents believed their personal data could be leaked on the internet, higher than the global average of 55 percent.

Straits Interactive, which was founded in 2013, partners with top universities in the region and international certification bodies to provide advanced diplomas, degrees, and certification courses.

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The company’s hands-on advisory services, combined with its software-as-a-service solutions, help reduce risk and create value from data to enable businesses to achieve their digitalization and innovation objectives. —Contributed

TAGS: Abuse, artificial intelligence (AI)

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