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Genpact looks to ethical artificial intelligence to chart path ahead

Enterprises could see more positions like digital ethics officers and move towards providing transformation as a service, an area Genpact is heavily focused on

Neha Alawadhi  |  New Delhi 

Sanjay Srivastava, Denpact
Srivastava said Genpact is in the fourth phase of evolution and will focus on areas like eliminating bias in intelligent systems and digitising newer kinds of work

With (AI) continuing to play a strong role in 2020, the road ahead will be built on “augmented Intelligence” — a mix of human and machine intelligence that will give an edge to companies, says Genpact’s chief digital officer Sanjay Srivastava.

Enterprises could see more positions like digital ethics officers and move towards providing transformation as a service, an area is heavily focused on. Srivastava said the company is in the fourth phase of evolution and will focus on areas like eliminating bias in intelligent systems and digitising newer kinds of work.

“With AI, it’s no longer that you have to protect your applications, because I can corrupt your data and then perfect AI will run on wrong data and give you the wrong results. I foresee that corporate boards are going to start thinking about ethical governance very differently. Just like we have audit subcommittees and compensation subcommittees, the world is going to have digital ethics subcommittees as a board-level subcommittee,” said Srivastava.

Concerns over bias in AI systems and their efficiency are not new, but there seems to be an increase in board-level recognition of the pitfalls of this. is using AI in multiple ways, most notable being its AI platform called Cora, which collects and analyses the available data and makes recommendations to clients.

One of the things it is working on is language. “We’re big believers in natural language processing. We apply it in invoice processing, contract reconciliation, any place you have to compare two large PDFs and derive information,” said Srivastava.

The next big area is computer vision, which works on what are called knowledge graphs, or deep learning. “You can turn your iPhone and say, where's the nearest Starbucks and it will tell you where it is. But if you look at an invoice and on page number 23, (you say) the sales tax you applied for in one state [that] you need to take to another state, there’s no in AI in the world today that can solve it, because it’s not contextualised,” he added. In this context, how do digital officers deal with ethics, which are subjective even offline? The answer, said Srivastava, is not hundred per cent laid out.

“But I do think that the parameters are now starting to get defined. So I actually work with clients on this. I have them set up a framework....one of the dimensions is an awareness of the intended and non intended usage parameters of the AI that we recommend,” he said.

First Published: Sat, March 07 2020. 23:59 IST
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