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Progress finds data biases to greatly impact benefit of AI/ML
Fri, 14th Apr 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Progress has announced the results of its global survey, Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI. Conducted by independent research firm, Insight Avenue, the Progress global survey is based on interviews with more than 640 business and IT professionals, director level and above, who use data to make decisions and are using or plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support their decision-making.

According to the researchers, biases are often inherited by cultural and personal experiences. When data is collected and used in the training of machine learning models, the models inherit the bias of the people building them, producing unexpected and potentially harmful outcomes.

Yet, despite the potential legal and financial pitfalls associated with data bias, there is a lack of understanding around the training, processes and technology needed to tackle data bias successfully.

The Progress survey indicated that 74% of Singaporean business and IT decision makers believe data bias will become a bigger concern as AI/ML use increases, but only 16% are currently addressing it and have an ongoing evaluation process. The biggest barriers they see are lack of awareness of potential biases, understanding how to identify bias as well as the lack of available expert resources, such as having access to data scientists.

The survey findings also show:

  • 58% of organisations anticipate becoming more reliant on AI/ML decision-making, in the coming years
  • 68% believe there is currently data bias in their organisation
  • 74% believe they need to be doing more to address data bias
  • 48% consider lack of awareness and understating of biases as a barrier to addressing it

John Yang, Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at Progress, says, "Bias can be a serious detriment to growth. Indeed, one in two Singaporean businesses cite eroding customer trust as the biggest implication of unchecked data bias. Local organisations are also worried about lost financial opportunities (48%) as well as security and governance risks (38%).

"At Progress we strive to help businesses make insightful decisions. Our customers are central to everything we do and we put them first as we explore how AI/ML can enhance effective decision-making that drives businesses forward."

Commissioned by Progress, the survey, Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI, was conducted by Insight Avenue, a UK-based research firm, specializing in business-to-business technology research. Results are based on interviews with business and IT professionals located across the Americas, Europe and Asia, focused on the use of data in decision making.

These professionals come from organisations with over 500 employees to better understand the overall awareness of data bias, how it was impacting businesses and what companies were doing to address it.