Is AI the answer to DEI in organisations?

In a world of computer systems designed to learn, solve problems, and make decisions, one might think that improving DEI in organisations would be a breeze. But it’s not that simple. Machine learning, a subset of AI, allows systems to learn and improve from experience without explicit programming.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), often portrayed in sci-fi as the ultimate intelligence, remains theoretical. Current AI technologies excel in specific tasks but lack general intelligence, so don’t worry, Skynet isn’t upon us just yet!

However, without DEI protocols, AI systems risk perpetuating biases present in their training data. For instance, using data solely from Europe to develop a recruitment process in South Africa may overlook the upliftment of previously disadvantaged groups, worsening inequalities and marginalising certain demographics.

But can we leverage AI to enhance DEI efforts? Absolutely. Businesses can embed diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into AI system design, ensuring representative data and actively mitigating biases. With the right approach, AI can help create more inclusive and diverse organizations.

Organisations can prepare their workforce for the fourth industrial revolution through upskilling programs. These initiatives educate employees on AI tools, their potential biases, and responsible usage. AI can then be utilised to identify disparities, enhance accessibility, and tailor DEI initiatives based on data-driven insights.

So, what’s your take? Will AI increase inequalities, or can we use it to encourage diversity, inclusion, and equity in our organisations and communities?”