Why trust is so important for companies making AI-based decisions

Why trust is so important for companies making AI-based decisions article image

A new study has found trust is vital to achieve long-term business success – especially as a foundation for decision-making based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The study, published by Fujitsu, finds that organisations are more likely to succeed in digital transformation when their approach includes measures to drive trust, such as long-term perspectives, empathic leadership and measures to empower employees.

Three in five business leaders (63 per cent) say they would trust decisions made by AI if substantial reasoning for reaching those decisions is available, according to the Fujitsu Future Insights Global Digital Transformation Survey Report 2019.

The survey is based on opinions from 900 CxOs and decision-makers at large and mid-sized companies in nine countries.

Also, two thirds (66 per cent) are inclined to trust organisations that publish a code of ethics governing their use of AI.

According to David Gentle, Director of Strategy and Foresight at Fujitsu: “Business leaders appear to have already reached a surprisingly high level of trust when it comes to AI-powered decision making.

“This is particularly true in areas that have less human impact – where six out of ten are ready to allow AI to make decisions in the case of manufacturing quality control, for example, and 56 per cent are happy for AI to make judgements in sport.”

Concerns about personal data

Despite digital transformation being complete or underway at 87 per cent of companies in the survey, the challenge of trust still remains an issue – especially related to how organisations handle personal data.

Some 72 per cent of CxOs and decision-makers are worried their personal data may be exploited by organisations without permission. Nevertheless, 69 per cent of respondents find it acceptable to provide personal data to companies they perceive as trustworthy, and in 67 per cent take the same view in situations where this personal data can help enhance products and services.

“There is a widespread and growing sense that trust is eroding across society and business,” says Mr Gentle.

“We think that rebuilding trust has become the central building block to a better future. Fujitsu has always believed that trust lies at the root of business success and we provide robust support for the trust underlying our customers' businesses. We are working to help create a prosperous future where people can live with peace of mind and trust in the technologies that enable it. This is Fujitsu’s vision of a Human Centric Intelligent Society.”

Mr Gentle says digital technology brings obvious benefits, however, trustworthiness of personal data control and the decisions made by AI are causing concern. 

“Organisations must work hard to create trustworthiness with their stakeholders and those that do so are more likely to be successful.”



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