How Women Leaders Are Thinking About Responsible AI

Kristen Brown
Vice President of Government Relations, SVLG

Co-Lead of Women’s Leadership Series, SVLG
Becca Kilian
Events Marketing Manager, SVLG

Co-Lead of Women’s Leadership Series, SVLG

Artificial intelligence is bringing a new wave of innovation, with the potential to make things better for people everywhere. 

Given the transformative potential of this technology, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and our member companies are committed to its responsible and equitable deployment. 

This includes convening diverse perspectives about how we should approach this fast-moving technology. Last week, our Women’s Leadership Series held a panel to gain insights from accomplished women trailblazers shaping the AI transformation across various industries. 

Participants included Lily Mei, Mayor of the City of Fremont, Ekaterine Kortkhonjia, Senior Director of Early Innovation Partnering at Johnson & Johnson, Stephanie LeBlanc-Godfrey, Global Head of Inclusion for Women of Color at Google, Utsavi Benani, Head of R&D for AI Apps with SAP Customer Experience, and was moderated by Sarah Fitzgerald, Senior Manager, Digital Workplace & Workforce Solutions with  Deloitte’s Consulting.

The event sparked meaningful dialogue about the development, deployment, and responsible considerations of AI technologies. 

First, AI algorithm bias is a significant concern, and diverse and unbiased datasets are critical to its responsible deployment. Participants highlighted that AI can amplify existing bias. Algorithms could institutionalize discriminatory mortgage lending practices, reduce employment opportunities for women applicants, and exacerbate healthcare inequities. Diverse data sets must be used to inform algorithms as to not perpetuate these harms.

Second, building AI with diverse perspectives at the table can help mitigate bias long-term. Almost every day a new AI tool is rolled out. As new use cases are discovered and products built, we need a variety of decision-makers. Are diverse perspectives being brought to the table? Is the environment one in which everyone feels comfortable making their voice heard? By asking these questions early in the process, we can build a more sustainable and equitable future of AI. 

Third, outreach programs and education initiatives can empower more women to consider careers in AI. While progress has been made, women are not historically well represented in science and technology. We have to encourage talented young women passionate about these subjects to get into the field. That starts with making spaces for role models who can open up a world of possibilities for future women leaders. 

It’s clear that AI will have an enormous impact on society. Ensuring its impact is equitable requires thoughtfulness and deliberate action.