AI has social consequences, but who pays the price? Tech companies’ problem with ‘ethical debt’
As a technology ethics educator and researcher, Carey Fiesler has thought about AI systems amplifying harmful biases and stereotypes, students using AI deceptively, privacy concerns, people being fooled by misinformation, and labor exploitation. Fiesler characterizes this not at technical debt but as accruing ethical debt. Just as technical debt can result from limited testing during the development process, ethical debt results from not considering possible negative consequences or societal harms. And with ethical debt in particular, the people who incur it are rarely the people who pay for it in the end.