Realizing Results Ethically in a Digital World – Avanade Report
Article Synopsis :
The digital world continues to amaze us changing the way we work, play and live. But we can’t allow ourselves to be so dazzled by digital that we ignore the potentially serious legal, ethical and moral issues raised by the technologies and their potential.
In ”Realizing Results Ethically in a Digital World”, Alexandra Cebulsky from Avanade raises ethical dilemmas illustrated by hypothetical use cases involving the DigiBrush (digital toothbrush), CleverFridge (smart refrigerator) and RoboBoss (self explanatory). The point is to help readers strike a balance between profitability and ethics.
The willful integration of digital in the day-to-day lives of consumers invites privacy concerns. How can insurers draw proper lines while trying to be digitally-equipped or in some cases digitally aggressive?
It’s essential to strike a balance in three areas:
- Technical Ability: What can technology do? What’s possible – especially in the areas of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence?
- Laws and Regulations: What can we do with technology? What’s legal in terms of data privacy, employment and other laws?
- Moral & Ethical Considerations: What should we allow technology to do? Where’s the line? What is ethical?
The report suggests three high-level recommendations for navigating the digital ethics dilemma:
- Start at the top: Ethics should have a voice at the board level as part of strategic planning and executive decision-making
- Keep communication channels open: Raise ethical awareness and create mixed teams to assess impacts on users, employees and third parties
- Trust, but verify: Install a compliance program to keep external and internal stakeholders in line with regulatory guidelines and provide strict internal monitoring and reviews for legal compliance
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Digital Insurer's CommentsTablets and smartphones are one thing but machine learning and AI entirely another. When machines proactively make decisions and take action (as they increasingly do) based on real-time data streams, control problems invariably arise. Where does one draw the line?
Many insurers draw the line at ignoring these technologies altogether, citing prudent risk management as the reason. But is this prudent or reckless as the digital world advances? Ethical dilemmas will no doubt increase in frequency and complexity as smart devices and technologies proliferate. Digital insurers embrace and explore these technologies in pursuit of customer and brand differentiation strategies on the right side of the ethical line.
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