Beyond Code: Ethical Reflection on AI and Bias

April 29, 2024

Diellza Malazogu


Today's technological landscape is growing and evolving exponentially with namely artificial intelligence (AI) technologies demonstrating the potential to revolutionize industries, reshape societies and redefine human experiences. Such AI technologies ranging from personalized recommendations to autonomous vehicles and Generative AI are increasingly being integrated into various aspects of our daily lives.

Yet, along the excitement surrounding AI's capabilities it has also emerged a major concern: the ethical implications of AI and its inherent biases. Beyond the lines of code that power these algorithms there also lie profound ethical questions that demand our attention and reflection. In this blog post, we embark on a journey beyond the code, delving into the ethical dimensions of AI and confronting the biases that affect these systems.

Understanding AI Ethics and Biases

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become increasingly present and integrated in our lives, influencing everything from the content we see on social media to the decisions made by healthcare providers and criminal justice systems. However, the rise of AI also brings to light complex ethical considerations, particularly regarding examples such as fake news or algorithmic biases that we are further going to tackle on this blog.

At its core, AI ethics encompasses the moral principles and values that guide the development, deployment, and use of AI technologies. One example of unethical usage of AI is ‘deepfake’ technology, reflecting the use of artificial intelligence, particularly deep learning algorithms to create realistic synthetic media, typically videos that depict individuals saying or doing things that they never actually did. It first emerged around late 2017 with videos showing influential political figures delivering speeches that they never actually did.

In 2018 filmmaker Jordan Peele used artificial intelligence to manipulate footage of President Obama to make it appear as though he was delivering a public service announcement. This video served as a powerful demonstration of the capabilities of deepfake technology and raised awareness about the need to address the ethical and societal implications.

Consequently, the unethical usage of such deepfake technologies could lead to the spread of fake news or invasion of an individual’s reputation and privacy, encompassing a highly unethical and dangerous utilization of AI that could also result in violations of human rights.

Central to this discourse of Unethical AI is also the recognition of algorithmic biases – inherent prejudices embedded within AI systems that can result in unfair or discriminatory outcomes.

Consider a hypothetical scenario where a company develops an AI-powered hiring tool designed to streamline the recruitment process by analyzing job applications and identifying top candidates. Unbeknownst to the developers, the algorithm is trained on historical hiring data that reflects biases against certain demographic groups, such as women or people of color.

As a result, the AI tool reflects these biases from the trained data by systematically discriminating against qualified candidates from underrepresented groups and reinforcing existing inequalities in the workforce.

Moreover, consider another example of using an AI image generator. If our prompt contains job positions such as “nurse” or “computer scientist” and in each scenario it generates always female for nurse or male for computer scientist's images, it reflects a biased algorithm trained on data that exhibits biases on gender relating to a job position.

From the above examples we observed that understanding algorithmic biases requires a nuanced examination of the data used to train AI systems and the socio-cultural contexts in which they operate. Biases can manifest in various forms, including selection bias (due to unrepresentative training data), confirmation bias (favoring information that confirms preexisting beliefs), and implicit bias (unconscious prejudices held by individuals).

Ethical Governance: Navigating Regulatory Landscapes

Observing the ever-evolving landscape and the increasing power of AI tools, as well as their integration into our everyday lives, governments and regulatory agencies around the world have recently begun to develop policies concerning the protection of human rights and ethics in the utilization of AI technologies.

On 23 November 2021, UNESCO’s 193 Member States adopted the first global normative instrument on the ethics of artificial intelligence, which addresses the concerns outlined in Human Rights Council Resolution 47/23, specifically in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence represents a historic and unique agreement of 193 Member States on the fundamental values, principles and policies that should govern the development of these technologies. It provides concrete pathways, including innovative tools, methodologies, and initiatives to ensure maximizing the positive impact of AI, while addressing the associated risks.

Moreover, in March 2024, the European Parliament gave final approval to The Artificial Intelligence Act, a collection of wide-ranging rules designed to govern artificial intelligence. According to EU these rules, first proposed in 2021, will protect citizens from the possible risks of a technology that is developing at breakneck speed.

However, regulations also entail the cost of innovation. As a result, striking a balance between promoting innovation and ensuring the ethical and responsible use of AI is essential. This topic requires a separate investigation to fully understand the implications of regulations on innovation. Striving for this balance is crucial, as regulations should encourage innovation while also addressing ethical concerns and potential risks associated with AI technologies.


As we navigate the ethical landscapes of AI it is also crucial to recognize the profound impact of Ethical AI in shaping our future as a society. Prioritizing fairness, transparency and inclusivity in the development and deployment of these systems can unlock the transformative power of AI technologies while guarding against unintended consequences.

Ultimately, Ethical AI is not merely a regulatory requirement but a moral imperative as well. It is a commitment to harnessing technology for the greater good, empowering individuals, and fostering a fair and equitable society. As we continue to push the boundaries of innovation let us ensure that ethics remain at the forefront, guiding us towards a future that reflects our shared values along with protecting human rights.