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Why you should hire a chief AI ethics officer

September 29, 2021

With more complex artificial intelligence adoption growing rapidly across industries, the need for executive oversight within corporations is becoming more and more prevalent. As a result, the role of chief AI ethics officer (CAIEO) is on the rise. Francesca Rossi of the World Economic Forum outlines five important characteristics for a successful chief AI ethics officer. Here they are, along with the most interesting observations from our perspective: 

  1. Multi-disciplinary knowledge: The CAIEO requires a very diverse skillset and knowledge base. They must have a technical AI background, empathy for ethical considerations, as well as familiarity with social science, technology law, and business strategy. 
  2. Effective and inclusive governance: In large organizations, they will lead top-down, centralized governance initiatives and bottom-up efforts to select the right tools for distinct business units. 
  3. Strategic differentiation and business value: Emphasizing AI ethics can, and should, be a source of strategic differentiation connected to the company’s values and business model. 
  4. Public communication and advocacy: Although the laws and regulations surrounding AI are still emerging, CAIEO’s can showcase values and norms around ethical AI use that will benefit the company’s public perception today.
  5. Company-wide engagement: With such a complex issue, putting AI ethics into practices requires a company-wide effort and direct stakeholder engagement as we covered in Issue 9.
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Ethics & Responsibility
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Principles & Frameworks