Salesforce’s Kathy Baxter and Amazon’s Nashlie Sephus talk keeping AI ethical at enterprise scale – TechCrunch


AI and big data are an important part of most enterprise-scale companies now, but that very scale can make it difficult to employ them safely and ethically. Kathy Baxter at Salesforce and Nashlie Sephus at AWS have made ethical AI and data collection their business over the last few years, both sounding the alarm on machine bias and prescribing solutions for it. They’ll discuss the growing need for work like theirs at the highest levels of business tech at TC Sessions: SaaS on Wednesday.

Dr. Sephus, applied science manager for Amazon Artificial Intelligence, focuses on fairness and the detection of biases in data and machine learning models. She worked her way up through the company after it acquired the startup she worked at — Battlefield alumnus Partpic. Now in addition to acting as an ethics evangelist and working with various teams to ensure AI models and databases are being deployed right, she leads The Bean Path, a non-profit in her native Jackson, Mississippi where she helps the new generation of tech workers get the training they need to compete.

Baxter came to Salesforce by way of Google, eBay and Oracle, where she worked for years in user experience research. Once at the enterprise giant she was among the earliest to recognize the risks of systematic bias in a company preparing to integrate AI at a fundamental level. She sought and got buy-in from CEO and founder Marc Benioff to lead an Ethical AI Practice team, performing in both a research and advisory role on matters of fair and equitable use of data and machine learning models. (If you want a top-level primer, check out the Maturity Model linked at the bottom of this post.)

The two experts will be discussing why and how companies should develop ethical AI practices and the ways in which the enterprise and AI worlds are learning to embrace and internalize them. If your company is thinking of putting AI to work in a big way — and what company isn’t? — you owe it to yourself to hear what they have to say.

Tomorrow is the day to hear from these amazing speakers! Make sure to book your tickets today as prices go up at the virtual door tomorrow.



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