Sixty-six percent of Australian organisations suffer from data bias

Sixty-six percent of Australian organisations suffer from data bias

Progress, a trusted provider of application development and infrastructure software, has announced the results of its global survey, Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI. Conducted by independent research firm, Insight Avenue, the Progress survey is based on interviews with more than 640 business and IT professionals, director level and above (including 200 across APAC and Australia), who use data to make decisions and are using or plan to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to support their decision-making. 

Biases are often inherited by cultural and personal experiences. When data is collected and used in the training of ML models, the models inherit the bias of the people building them, producing unexpected and potentially harmful outcomes. Yet, despite the potential legal and financial pitfalls associated with data bias, there is a lack of understanding around the training, processes and technology needed to tackle data bias successfully. 

The Progress survey indicated that86% of Australian business and IT decision-makers believe data bias will become a bigger concern as AI/ML use increases (higher than the 78% respondents globally), yet over a third (34%) have not looked at technology and tools to help in tackling data bias. The biggest barriers they see arelack of awareness of potential biases, understanding how to identify bias as well as the lack of available expert resources, such as having access to data scientists. 

The survey findings also show:

  • 62% of Australian organisations anticipate becoming more reliant on AI/ML decision-making in the coming years
  • 66% believe there is currently data bias in their organisation
  • 84% believe they need to be doing more to understand and address data bias in their organisation, higher than any other country surveyed
  • Among the top five causes that Australian respondents consider being the main barriers to addressing potential data bias in their organisation are: 
    • Lack of awareness and understanding of potential biases (62%) 
    • Lack of understanding of how to best identify data bias (50%) 
    • Lack of understanding of how to best avoid or address data bias (48%)
    • Lack of ownership/responsibility (42%) 
    • Lack of tools for identifying and mitigating data bias (34%)

“Every day bias can negatively impact business operations and decision-making – from governance and lost customer trust to financial implications and potential legal and ethical exposure,” said John Ainsworth, EVP and General Manager,Application and Data Platform, Progress. “We put our customers at the centre of everything we do and as we explore all that AI/ML can do, we want to ensure our customers are armed with the right information to make the best decisions to drive their business forward.” 

Commissioned by Progress, the survey, Data Bias: The Hidden Risk of AI, was conducted by Insight Avenue, a UK-based research firm, specialising in business-to-business technology research. Results are based on interviews with business and IT professionals located across the Americas, Europe and Asia, focused on the use of data in decision-making.

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