Katia Walsh is senior vice president and chief global strategy and AI officer at Levi Strauss & Co., where she focuses on setting the company’s holistic digital and corporate strategy. Previously, she was the first chief global data and analytics officer of Vodafone Group and held strategic data analytics leadership positions at Prudential Financial, Fidelity Investments, and Forrester Research. Walsh was named the U.K.’s Data Leader of the Year for three consecutive years by the Women in IT Awards series. She holds a doctorate in strategic communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Learn more about Katia Walsh’s approach to AI in the Me, Myself, and AI podcast.
|Executives usually think of RAI as a technology issue. Agree
|“Yes, it is true that executives tend to view responsible AI as a technology issue. However, that is a misconception. Responsible AI should be part of the values of the full organization, just as critical as other key pillars, such as sustainability; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and contributions to making a positive difference in society and the world. In summary, responsible AI should be a core issue for an organization, not relegated to technology only.”
|RAI constrains AI-related innovation. Strongly disagree
|“The practice of responsible AI is not at odds with innovation at all. The two can and must coexist. Innovation is not only about unleashing imagination and achieving what once wasn’t possible; it’s about doing so with ethics, values, and respect for rights. When innovation and responsibility combine, we see the greatest potential of technology and human (including emotional) intelligence, and the two — together — will achieve what cannot succeed alone.”
|Organizations should tie their responsible AI efforts to their corporate social responsibility efforts. Strongly agree
|“Across industries, businesses are now also tech and data companies. Those companies poised to successfully compete in the future have embraced that reality and understand that long-term, sustainable growth requires digital technologies to create new business processes, cultures, customer experiences, and opportunities. One of the myths about digital transformation is that it’s all about harnessing technology. For digital transformations to be successful, they need to be grounded in and underpinned by an organization’s guiding values. And they need to be in service to business drivers that will enable and protect a company’s right to operate in the future, including corporate social responsibility priorities.”
|Responsible AI should be a part of the top management agenda. Strongly agree
“Every company is now a technology company, and building a responsible AI framework from the start is critical to running a responsible business. Data, digital, and AI are core to how companies connect with consumers, drive internal operations, and chart future strategies. Therefore, these technologies can immensely impact consumers, employees, partners, and the organization overall. Just like human intelligence, AI is susceptible to limitations, bias, and error. We must ensure opportunities for responsible and ethical applications, continuous measurement, and advancement.
As we see continued adoption of AI throughout organizations, it’s vital that leaders incorporate ethical and responsible practices, including controls, to prevent unintended or harmful outcomes. Leading a modern organization includes building the right strategy and a plan that achieves desired outcomes, eliminates bias, ensures transparency, and withstands the highest data privacy, security, and protection measures.
An effective AI program is ethical and responsible, and these factors cannot be an afterthought or one-time conversation. Ethical and responsible AI must be a part of every organization’s core.”