Five Principles for Responsible AI Development

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Responsible AI Development

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) and use of AI-powered technologies has already had a significant impact across every industry. In the UK, one in six companies have now embraced at least one AI technology into their organisations – and this is set to rise further still.

Consequently, countless businesses will be looking to dive head-first into AI development to try and reap the many benefits that the technology provides. But a critical part of any product development process is core product-building principles.

Principles are not only important in regards to responsible AI development, but they also help your team determine the types of product investments that make sense for your business. Here are five principles to keep in mind when developing AI technology.

Collaborative development

Product development should be a partnership. Companies must build products with specific customers in mind, and the best way to do this effectively is to form collaborative partnerships with customers.

It allows for the transfer of knowledge and ideas, which have a profound effect on AI’s development. Working together, your team can ensure your AI capabilities are designed to meet the needs and expectations of customers. 

Data governance

To maximise the benefits of AI, data is key. It is therefore essential that companies adopt a robust data governance approach, ensuring that they establish the right processes, practices and tools to effectively manage their data.

Research has found that 76% of consumers are concerned about misinformation coming from AI, highlighting how important it is to make sure that the data that goes into an AI product is accurate and properly controlled. With the correct procedures in place, firms are able to trust this data and ensure that the resulting insights generated by their AI applications are accurate and fit for consumption. 

A further crucial aspect of data governance is the protection it gives to customers. Nearly half (44%) of consumers say they are open to recommendations that are powered by AI but that it ‘depends on the company.’ This shows how big of a role reputation plays when it comes to the handling of data. By ensuring responsible stewardship of data, firms can ensure that there are protections in place for customers.


Your customers have the right to know about your AI development practices. More than ever, transparent practices matter. In an ever-changing and evolving environment, it is important to openly communicate updates about AI features, what data you use, as well as the benefits and any potential drawbacks.

In practice, this can include clearly flagging which features within your product leverage AI and giving customers an opportunity to see how those automated decisions are made.

Customer choice

When it comes to customer involvement, companies should take it one step further than just letting customers know where AI is involved. It is imperative to give customers the power of choice when it comes to AI.

By offering customers options around which AI services they would like to use or be a part of and informing them of how their data will be used, customers have the ability to make informed decisions. This can include giving customers the ability to control how their data may be shared with AI providers or used in models.

Privacy, security, and trust

Building trust is a vital component of any business’s success. The case of AI is certainly no different, and it involves building trust with a range of people: customers, stakeholders, legislators, and regulators. It is essential that businesses are fully committed to compliance with a range of AI laws and standards – as well as long-established data privacy laws like GDPR. 

AI technologies should also have built-in privacy and security controls. More than a third (38%) of people in the UK are concerned about privacy and data security surrounding AI, showing how important it is for firms to take this seriously. To safeguard even further, firms should look to conduct regular audits of their operation to ensure that they remain in compliance with the law – this is especially important in the area of AI, where laws and regulations are constantly evolving.

As AI adoption continues to increase, the importance of a responsible ecosystem for its development increases with it. Businesses who are looking to incorporate it into their organisational structures must make it a priority to do so in a customer-first way. Not only will their companies benefit from the transformative effects of AI, giving them the tools to build better products, but they will also ensure that their customers and stakeholders are protected and can reap the benefits as well.