Week-in-Review: Common types of AI bias and digital transformation disconnects

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CIO News Week In Review

In this week’s news roundup for IT pros, articles on artificial intelligence, digital transformation, and CIO priorities for 2017.

Biased AI

This week we shared our top five most-read interviews of 2016, one of which focused on the biases in machine learning. An article in TechCrunch this week from Kristian Hammond expands on and dives deeper into the types of biases that can crop up in artificial intelligence (5 unexpected sources of bias in artificial intelligence). The issues with bias range from data-driven, in which skewed data sets impact decision-making, to bias through interaction, which is exemplified in the article by a Twitter chatbot that was taught to be racist. Hammond writes, “In an ideal world, intelligent systems and their algorithms would be objective. Unfortunately, these systems are built by us and, as a result, end up reflecting our biases. By understanding the bias themselves and the source of the problems, we can actively design systems to avoid them.”

Digital transformation shortcomings

An article in Forbes provides some insight into why all the hype and buzz around digital transformation may be no more than shiny object syndrome for organizations that embrace it. Joe McKendrick reports on the results of a survey by SADA Systems that found “the majority (56 percent) of the 350 IT executives surveyed said their organizations had already spent at least $1 million dollars on a company-wide digital transformation effort, but only 18 percent said the money had been allocated to ‘change management.’” McKendrick goes on to point out other disconnects that the survey brings to light, such as business leaders citing digital transformation as an extremely high priority, yet also indicating that they had trouble securing funding or getting the rest of the business to sign up for a massive change. In the end, McKendrick says, “decision makers have to sit down and define how they're going to get to the next level, and what it takes to transform their businesses first” (Why Digital Transformation Is An Empty Catch-Phrase).

Regardless of where businesses are in the planning or execution of a digital strategy, there are several things CIOs can be doing to set their organizations up for success. Writing for CIO Magazine, Isaac Sacolick shares three CIO priorities – including understanding evolving customer needs, prioritizing digital practices, and driving organizational learning – that can better prepare organizations to capitalize on digital transformation in 2017. Sacolick also touches on the importance of change agents in turning digital transformation vision into reality (How CIOs can kickstart digital transformation programs).

More news for CIOs

What learning a trade taught me about IT leadership [TechTarget]

The Non-IT CIO: Information over infrastructure [InformationWeek]

What IT leaders should be putting on their Christmas wish list [MicroScope]

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.