BCG GAMMA Responsible AI

Deliver Powerful Business Results with Responsible AI

When done right, responsible AI isn’t simply a framework to mitigate risk. It’s a way to deliver transformative business impact. BCG works with companies to make responsible AI a reality.

As emerging categories of artificial intelligence, such a generative AI, play a more central role in business and society, so does the need for ensuring responsible use. The financial and reputational risks of AI failures are real, but they can be managed if organizations take the right steps.

Our philosophy is twofold: first, responsible AI should not be viewed strictly as a defensive maneuver—but also as a source of value. Second, the principles of responsible AI offer an important starting point, but they must be translated into action.

The Business Case for Responsible AI

Companies do not need to choose between protecting customers with responsible AI and boosting the bottom line. Companies can both realize the transformative power of AI and amplify its benefits by developing AI in a responsible manner. Time and again, BCG research has shown that companies with a strong sense of purpose and a focus on total societal impact outperform their peers. Incorporating an organization’s authentic purpose and AI ethics into the core of AI will:

  • Boost the bottom line. Companies that embrace responsible AI—and publicize that fact—build trust, improve customer loyalty, and ultimately enhance revenues. Lack of trust, on the other hand, carries a high financial cost.
  • Differentiate the brand. Customers are increasingly choosing to do business with companies whose demonstrated values align with their own. Organizations with a strong sense of purpose are more than twice as likely to generate above-average shareholder returns, whereas AI without integrity will fail brands every time.
  • Improve recruiting and retention. Responsible AI attracts the elite digital talent critical to the success of firms around the world. In the UK, one in six AI workers has quit his or her job rather than help to develop potentially harmful products; that’s more than three times the rate for the tech sector as a whole. A well-constructed responsible AI program empowers workers to innovate freely within the bounds of AI ethics.

How BCG Helps Companies Bridge the Responsible AI Gap

Companies that recognize the need for responsible AI usually begin by developing principles to guide their actions. But they sometimes struggle to move from high-level principles to tangible changes in the way they build AI solutions. We call this the responsible AI gap. Companies must bridge this gap if they want to unlock the true potential of responsible AI, and they can do so by taking BCG’s six simple steps.

How We Work with Clients

When we work with clients to implement the six steps of responsible AI, our perspective is informed by the following beliefs:

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Tools to Enable Responsible AI

As part of our broader commitment to responsible AI, BCG has developed a set of tools that help companies achieve their business goals and preemptively address the repercussions that AI can have on individuals and society. Companies can use these free tools to ensure their AI programs are, in fact, responsible.

Three Things to Know Now

There’s lots of talk about the risks of generative AI. What’s not getting discussed enough is how organizations are adopting itNow that anyone can use tools like ChatGPT in their workflows, unreported “shadow AI” may be taking place that bypasses risk and safety governance mechanisms.

Instead of banning generative AI systems, which is not a long-term solution, here are three things you can do to support experimentation while promoting safe and responsible AI.:

  • Install a front door. All requests for using generative AI systems should go through an API gateway that provides access. This front door helps ensure responsible AI by tracking how it is used, filtering and sanitizing sensitive information, and blocking toxic inputs or outputs. 
  • Establish enforceable policies. Develop guidelines on using generative AI and capture them in policy to make them enforceable. Communicate those policies to all staff and establish a rapid and agile review process for use cases. This will enable people experimenting with generative AI to bring cases to a committee, ask questions, and get feedback. 
  • Purchase enterprise licenses for generative AI systems. Rather than using a generic system without knowing what it does with the data, license tools and services offered by companies like OpenAI, Microsoft Azure, Cohere, and Hugging Face that enable organizations to use generative AI in a structured manner. This can protect your data and give you the ability to fine-tune the systems to meet specific needs.

Abhishek Gupta
Senior Solution Delivery Manager, Responsible AI

Learn More About Responsible AI

BCG’s AI Code of Conduct

At BCG, we lead with integrity—and the responsible use of artificial intelligence is fundamental to our approach. We aim to set an ethical standard for AI in our industry, and we empower our clients to make the right economic and ethical decisions.

See how we’re fulfilling this commitment

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Responsible AI Is About More Than Avoiding Risk

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Why AI Needs a Social License

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