Billions of dollars are flooding into AI. Yet, AI models are already being affected by prejudice, as evidenced by mortgage discrimination toward Black prospective homeowners.

It’s reasonable to ask what role ethics plays in the building of this technology and, perhaps more importantly, where investors fit in as they rush to fund it.

A founder recently told TechCrunch+ that it’s hard to think about ethics when innovation is so rapid: People build systems, then break them, and then edit. So some onus lies on investors to make sure these new technologies are being built by founders with ethics in mind.

To see whether that’s happening, TechCrunch+ spoke with four active investors in the space about how they think about ethics in AI and how founders can be encouraged to think more about biases and doing the right thing.

Some investors said they tackle this by doing due diligence on a founder’s ethics to help determine whether they’ll continue to make decisions the firm can support.

“Founder empathy is a huge green flag for us,” said Alexis Alston, principal at Lightship Capital. “Such people understand that while we are looking for market returns, we are also looking for our investments to not cause a negative impact on the globe.”

Other investors think that asking hard questions can help separate the wheat from the chaff. “Any technology brings with it unintended consequences, be it bias, reduced human agency, breaches of privacy or something else,” said Deep Nishar, managing director at General Catalyst. “Our investment process centers around identifying such unintended consequences, discussing them with founding teams and assessing whether safeguards are or will be in place to mitigate them.”

Government policies are also taking aim at AI: The EU has passed machine learning laws, and the U.S. has introduced plans for an AI task force to start looking at the risks associated with AI. That’s in addition to the AI Bill of Rights introduced last year. With many top VC firms injecting money into AI efforts in China, it’s important to ask how global ethics within AI can be enforced across borders as well.

Read on to find out how investors are approaching due diligence, the green flags they look for and their expectations of regulations in AI.

Read the full article about AI ethics by Dominic-Madori Davis at TechCrunch.