EqualAI’s Inaugural White Paper: An Insider’s Guide to Designing and Operationalizing a Responsible AI Governance Framework

Aug 30, 2023

As businesses– and all of us– increase dependence on and investment in artificial intelligence (AI), there is an urgent need to establish and align on best practices that promote responsible AI to earn and maintain trust in these systems. Not only is this the right thing to do, it is good business. Numerous studies indicate that consumers overwhelmingly expect businesses to be responsible and ethical when adopting and developing AI technology. As such, organizations must earn customer trust with their AI use and to do so, must understand and implement practices to ensure their AI is responsible—meaning: safe, inclusive, and effective for all possible end users.

While there are relevant laws and regulations that impact and govern AI use currently, there is a lack of global, or even national, consensus on standards for responsible AI governance. Organizations cannot wait for the regulatory and litigation landscape to settle before adopting best practices for AI governance given the speed and scale of AI adoption. That is where EqualAI steps in.

EqualAI is a nonprofit leading the movement to reduce unconscious bias and other harms in the development and deployment of artificial intelligence. We work with organizations who are eager to seize the benefits of AI while mitigating potential harms and biases as they reimagine their fundamental purpose and operating procedures as AI-reliant companies. For example, our flagship Badge Program for Senior Executives brings together leaders and practitioners across industries to delve further into understanding how to avoid and establish frameworks to support AI use while avoiding potential harms stemming from AI. Our leaders not only believe in the importance of striving for responsible AI, they are committed to doing the work that is necessary to achieve this goal.

Earlier this summer, the EqualAI Badge Community gathered for the inaugural Responsible AI Summit to align on standards and best practices for a responsible AI governance framework. We were privileged to have discussions with leaders across the U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of State, Rep. Don Beyer (VA-8), Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-36), and Rep. Jay Obernolte (CA-23). The Summit included active, thoughtful and engaged participants from Verizon, Salesforce, Miscosoft, Google Deepmind, Pepsi, Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SAS Institute and Amazon Web Services.

We are often asked to share our learnings with the broader responsible AI community. In response, we are thrilled to publish our first white paper featuring the findings from the Responsible AI Summit and the 2023 Spring Badge Program. This white paper is arguably the first of its kind as it incorporates the views of multiple companies and thought leaders on best practice in responsible AI governance.

The white paper will delineate the values, principles, and framework our participants aligned on, and explore unanswered questions that the EqualAI community plans to address in future programming. The purpose of this paper is to serve as a resource for organizations of any size, sector, or maturity in the midst of adopting, developing, using, and implementing AI systems with an internal and public commitment to do so responsibly.

The final governance framework can be customized to fit specific business needs and consists of six main pillars:

EqualAI Responsible AI Governance Framework

With these six pillars in place, organizations will be best positioned to develop, acquire, and/or implement AI responsibly. Within the framework are key components to implement across an enterprise, including, but not limited to, securing C-suite or Board support, incorporating feedback from diverse and underrepresented communities, and empowering employees to flag potential concerns.

These recommendations and more helpful information on best practices can be found in the final white paper, now published on EqualAI’s website. In addition to the white paper, EqualAI offers a variety of resources for its Badge participants and member organizations, including its Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA) Tool, salon dinners and roundtables. By engaging with EqualAI’s white paper, assessment tools and larger Badge community, organizations are well positioned for their journey towards building trust - not only for the AI systems they develop, but for all stakeholders who engage with their internal processes and products.

Responsible AI governance is a collective endeavor that requires buy-in from all levels of an organization, and EqualAI aims to provide an accessible, inclusive roadmap to any team ready to implement responsible AI systems and governance efforts. Check out EqualAI to learn more and join the responsible AI movement today.

Together we can create #EqualAI

As AI goes mainstream, help us remove unconscious biases and create it equally.