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HomeBig DataMeet Reggie Townsend, a 2023 Datanami Individual to Watch

Meet Reggie Townsend, a 2023 Datanami Individual to Watch


Guaranteeing the trustworthiness of AI has emerged as one of many greatest challenges within the adoption of AI techniques. Overcoming this problem would require the steerage of skilled AI leaders, individuals resembling Reggie Townsend, who’s the vice chairman of ethics at SAS and a 2023 Datanami Individual to Watch.

We lately caught up with Townsend to debate his work in trusthworthy and accountable AI. Right here’s what he needed to say:

Datanami: The roaring success of ChatGPT has given hundreds of thousands of individuals an introduction to conversational AI know-how. From an moral consideration, what ought to customers pay attention to after they work together with conversational AI?

Reggie Townsend: It’s undoubtedly a web constructive that extra individuals are being launched and turning into accustomed to generative AI. Nevertheless, there stays a necessity to acknowledge and admire the truth that the information used to coach ChatGPT nonetheless comes from people. The outcomes of generative AI, at their core, are a mirrored image of us, people. There’s nonetheless an inherent threat that these fashions might be knowledgeable by inaccurate knowledge, misinformation or biases. It stays crucial that buyers proceed to use essential considering every time interacting with conversational AI and keep away from automation bias — the assumption {that a} technical system is extra prone to be correct and true than a human.

Datanami: Do you assume the information and company communities are spending sufficient time and vitality on assessing the moral implications of AI? If not, what’s going to it take to spur us to take AI ethics critically?

Townsend: Moral AI growth is incentivized in a couple of manner — from a authorized perspective, firms need to stay compliant and viable, so they’re taking a look at exercise around the globe on creating AI laws to remain forward of upcoming steerage. However moral AI can be good for profitability, as any overreaches into privateness or potential for discrimination may cause critical monetary and reputational injury to an organization. When you can by no means spend an excessive amount of vitality on accountable AI growth, innovators on this house proceed to be guided by rising requirements and consciousness of penalties.

Datanami: Please inform us about your function with the Nationwide Synthetic Intelligence Advisory Committee. What types of questions or issues is the committee wanting into?

Townsend: My function together with the 26 different committee members, is to supply the federal government with enter and perception into 5 major areas of concern: Bias, AI Analysis and Improvement, Worldwide Improvement, Workforce Readiness, and Authorities AI Deployment.

I presently sit on two subcommittees: The primary is for Workforce Readiness, the place we’re targeted on what is important for the citizenry to inherit a digital economic system pushed by AI, creating a set of suggestions to launch this yr. The second subcommittee focuses on Authorities AI Deployment, the place we’ll be making suggestions for a way the federal government can use AI to the advantage of residents.

Datanami: Outdoors of the skilled sphere, what are you able to share about your self that your colleagues is likely to be stunned to be taught – any distinctive hobbies or tales?

Townsend: I’ve been concerned in improv comedy for nearly eight years now. I received into improv within the first place to power myself to be a extra fast and responsive communicator. It turned out I wasn’t half dangerous, so I used to be invited to take part with a group, and we’ve been doing native exhibits in Chicago for years. It’s an opportunity to not be so critical, and likewise helped me uncover and develop strategies that additionally apply to my skilled life, like studying to affirm others whereas stating what you imagine to be true, and permitting me to convey a few of my humor and character into my public talking.

You may learn the remainder of the interviews with the 2023 Individuals to Watch right here.

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