• Advertising

Why Responsible AI is Critical to Ad Tech

Saurav Dutta
Saurav Dutta
4 min read
Posted on December 04, 2023
Why Responsible AI is Critical to Ad Tech

Responsible AI, also known as Ethical AI, is a fundamental concept that underscores the development and utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in a manner that aligns with ethical principles, legal regulations, and societal values.  

The core objective of Responsible AI is to ensure that AI technologies are designed and deployed in ways that are fair, transparent, accountable, and respectful of human rights and well-being, while minimizing potential harm and maximizing benefits. It also helps foster trust and mitigate risks. 

Recent developments in Responsible AI have been significant, with the UK hosting the inaugural AI Safety Summit in early November 2023. This summit convened key countries, leading tech companies, and researchers to collectively establish safety measures for assessing and monitoring the most significant AI risks. As a remarkable outcome, all participating nations signed the Bletchley Declaration, uniting in their pursuit of Responsible AI. 

Previously, UK, USA, India, and other countries have published their country-wide principles for Responsible AI. Some of them (e.g., UK) have also taken the next step to publish guidelines and processes around these principles.  Governments worldwide are increasingly recognizing both the opportunities and risks associated with AI, and Responsible AI is the ‘great responsibility’ side of AI’s ‘great power.’ 

When aggregating the principles established by different nations, five key common themes emerge that you will see below.

Now, in the context of the ad tech industry, companies will look to harness AI to build better value for their customers and, in turn, create a competitive advantage for themselves. While doing so, it’s important not to lose track of the fact that Responsible AI needs to be incorporated as a mindset and practice for long-term gains versus falling prey to short-term AI wins.  

Let’s look at how the worlds of ad tech and Responsible AI intersect. 

  1. Safety and Security: AI's versatility and autonomy poses safety and security concerns across various domains, including biotechnology, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and other national security dangers. The reality is that the misuse of AI in ad tech won’t have a magnitude of impact on safety and security as, let’s say, biotechnology or national cybersecurity. However, it is still an essential aspect from a user safety point of view. While we must continuously and proactively think about all potential use cases, compliance with privacy policies and responsible AI-based addressability solutions will ensure that this industry is moving forward in the right direction. 
  2. Transparency: AI systems must be transparent and explainable. All ad tech companies will (if not already) invest heavily in observability at each step of the AI lifecycle (see here to know more about these steps) to maximize transparency, gain more control, and drive efforts toward Responsible AI. It is best to use a third-party partner whose core focus is AI observability.  
  3. Equality and Fairness: Ad tech companies will need to put robust systems and processes in place to ensure that their AI technology is not leading to discrimination or violation of rights in any way when using general-purpose LLMs or niche ML models. Also, ad tech companies will also need to closely monitor and improve the diversity of their AI teams. 
  4. Accountability and governance: AI is a technology that will complement, and not replace, a human’s effort. Humans will need to be accountable to AI technology and place the proper governance in pursuit of Responsible AI. While new senior roles are already being created in ad tech organizations (e.g., CIO, CDO, Head of AI, etc.) whose key remits will include Responsible AI, it will also be essential to segregate roles and responsibilities among the rest of the AI team – for example, the role of an ML engineer versus a Data Scientist or an ML Ops person. 
  5. “You’ll never work alone”:  Similar to sustainability initiatives where all parties are aligned on the need to come together as a team to proceed forward, Responsible AI is also a team game where all ad tech entities will need to come together for the greater good of the industry. Central bodies like IAB have already created an Artificial Intelligence Subcommittee, and we anticipate that the investments and participation in these initiatives will grow significantly quickly. Liverpool fans knew this all along! 

These are truly exciting times as we stand on the cusp of a new era of ad tech. With each passing day, we are witnessing the responsible evolution of artificial intelligence. 

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