If you’re making a list of the most polarizing issues facing our world these days, artificial intelligence would surely be on it.

On the one hand, there are those who believe AI will be a massive disaster for the workforce, with Goldman Sachs projecting that more than 300 million jobs could be impacted by the latest wave of AI technologies.

On the other hand, there are those who argue that AI will unleash a new era of creativity, productivity, and prosperity that will benefit humans, not displace them.

Count me as one of the optimists. I see so many exciting use cases on the horizon – everything from early detection of health problems to far greater efficiency for how we work with colleagues. Just imagine what’s possible with technology that can connect dots within seconds, which would take mere mortals years to achieve.

Most of us would agree that AI is a game-changer and that we’re in the midst of nothing less than a Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which AI will be as essential as coal was to the Industrial Revolution. However, we have plenty of other issues to debate and iron out. For example, who owns the data models powered by AI? And how transparent do companies need to be about the role of AI-generated information in their products and services?

Companies need some guiding principles that help them leverage the massive potential of AI and establish important guardrails. For me, there are four key principles.


Customers are highly aware of the need for data privacy today, and transparency is increasingly non-negotiable. Companies must be forthcoming about their use of AI and what measures they’ve implemented to safeguard sensitive information. Failing to do so can erode trust and lead to enduring reputational damage.

Consider the case of a social media platform that implements AI algorithms to personalize user experiences. By transparently communicating how user data is utilized and providing users with control over their data, the platform fosters trust and loyalty among its user base.

Multifaceted Training

One of the great fears of this moment is that bias in AI algorithms will further perpetuate societal inequalities and lead to discriminatory outcomes. In order to make this outcome less likely, multifaceted training emphasizes diversifying the training datasets, incorporating a variety of perspectives, and continuously monitoring and addressing bias throughout the AI development lifecycle.

Imagine a hiring platform that uses AI to screen job applicants. Without multifaceted training, the platform’s algorithms may inadvertently discriminate against certain demographics, perpetuating biases present in historical data. By implementing multifaceted training, the platform can ensure that all candidates get a fair shot.

Keeping a Human in the Loop

So many of the fears in the gloom cycle on AI dwell on the potential for AI to decimate jobs. I tend to agree more with the idea that you may not lose your job to AI, but you could lose it to a person using AI.

One way that we can assuage these concerns – and get better outcomes – is to ensure that we keep a human being firmly in the loop.

While AI can automate many tasks, human oversight is indispensable for complex decision-making and ethical dilemmas. It provides checks and balances to mitigate the risks of AI errors or misuse.

Consider an autonomous vehicle equipped with AI-driven navigation systems. While AI can handle routine driving tasks, a human driver remains essential to intervene in emergencies or navigate unpredictable situations, ensuring the safety of passengers and pedestrians.

Create Bidirectional Engagement with Your Customer

One-way communication between businesses and customers is no longer sufficient in the AI era. Bidirectional engagement involves actively soliciting feedback from customers, incorporating their input into AI models, and adapting strategies based on evolving customer needs and preferences.

Take the example of an e-commerce platform that leverages AI for product recommendations. By encouraging customers to provide feedback on recommended products and preferences, the platform continuously refines its algorithms to deliver personalized shopping experiences, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s rare to recognize that you’re in the middle of an inflection point. Leaders have the opportunity to recognize the gravity of the shift underway and act now—because, in many ways, these are still early days.

Companies can harness AI’s transformative power while upholding ethical standards and maintaining public trust. In an era defined by technological innovation, these principles can help businesses envision a future where AI enriches the lives of ordinary people and drives sustainable growth for all.