Responsible innovation looks to tackle issues of algorithmic bias

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Responsible innovation looks to tackle issues of algorithmic bias

Analytics platform SAS will launch a responsible innovation initiative, in an effort to guide the use of powerful technologies.

According to the company, the initiative will be guided by its Data Ethics Practice (DEP).

Responsible innovation includes important topics like responsible AI, algorithms and bias to consider the entire innovation process. A responsible innovation approach injects equity and fairness at every step, from idea to development to deployment.

Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning offer exciting opportunities to enhance human capabilities in many areas. However, if developed and deployed without appropriate controls and human involvement, those technologies can do more harm than good.

The company says it will continue to work with and learn from customers, partners, academics, students, community organisations and nonprofits, to inform its own practices and explore new ways to lift people up with data and analytics.

Led by Reggie Townsend, who was recently appointed to the US Department of Commerce’s National AI Advisory Council (NAIAC). He also serves on the board of EqualAI, a nonprofit organisation focused on reducing unconscious bias in the development and use of AI.

“While we’ve been at this for a long time, we don’t have all the answers,” said Townsend. “Those that create, consume and regulate data and AI have a shared risk, reward and responsibility to be trustworthy stewards of technology for the benefit of people and the planet we inhabit.”

Bryan Harris, CTO at SAS said, “By putting humans at the centre of the innovation process, SAS is committed to building a world where data uplifts and empowers everyone. The company has been at the centre of the evolution of data science and has the expertise and experience to be an important contributor to the global effort to innovate responsibly.”

DEP is a cross-functional team that guides a globally coordinated effort to help employees and customers deploy data-driven systems that promote human well-being, agency and equity.

“EqualAI will benefit significantly from the insights and deep commitment that Reggie brings to developing and deploying inclusive AI in an equitable way,” said Miriam Vogel, President and CEO of EqualAI.

“Reggie's focus is squarely aligned with our mission for AI to reach its maximum potential by ensuring it is created by and for a broader cross-section of the population.”

In the US the Business Roundtable is also creating a Roadmap for Responsible AI, an initiative to which SAS is also a partner.

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