Women in AI: Brandie Nonnecke of UC Berkeley says investors should insist on responsible AI practices

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To present AI-focused girls lecturers and others their well-deserved — and overdue — time within the highlight, Trendster is launching a collection of interviews specializing in exceptional girls who’ve contributed to the AI revolution. We’ll publish a number of items all year long because the AI increase continues, highlighting key work that usually goes unrecognized. Learn extra profiles right here.

Brandie Nonnecke is the founding director of the CITRIS Coverage Lab, headquartered at UC Berkeley, which helps interdisciplinary analysis to handle questions across the function of regulation in selling innovation. Nonnecke additionally co-directors the Berkeley Middle for Legislation and Expertise, the place she leads initiatives on AI, platforms and society, and the UC Berkeley AI Coverage Hub, an initiative to coach researchers to develop efficient AI governance and coverage frameworks.

In her spare time, Nonnecke hosts a video and podcast collection, TecHype, that analyzes rising tech insurance policies, rules and legal guidelines, offering insights into the advantages and dangers and figuring out methods to harness tech for good.


Briefly, how did you get your begin in AI? What attracted you to the sector?

I’ve been working in accountable AI governance for almost a decade. My coaching in expertise, public coverage and their intersection with societal impacts drew me into the sector. AI is already pervasive and profoundly impactful in our lives — for higher and for worse. It’s essential to me to meaningfully contribute to society’s means to harness this expertise for good somewhat than stand on the sidelines.

What work are you most pleased with (within the AI area)?

I’m actually pleased with two issues we’ve completed. First, The College of California was the primary college to ascertain accountable AI rules and a governance construction to higher guarantee accountable procurement and use of AI. We take our dedication to serve the general public in a accountable method significantly. I had the glory of co-chairing the UC Presidential Working Group on AI and its subsequent everlasting AI Council. In these roles, I’ve been capable of achieve firsthand expertise considering by methods to greatest operationalize our accountable AI rules with a purpose to safeguard our school, workers, college students, and the broader communities we serve. Second, I feel it’s vital that the general public perceive rising applied sciences and their actual advantages and dangers. We launched TecHype, a video and podcast collection that demystifies rising applied sciences and supplies steering on efficient technical and coverage interventions.

How do you navigate the challenges of the male-dominated tech business, and, by extension, the male-dominated AI business?

Be curious, persistent and undeterred by imposter syndrome. I’ve discovered it essential to hunt out mentors who help variety and inclusion, and to supply the identical help to others getting into the sector. Constructing inclusive communities in tech has been a strong approach to share experiences, recommendation and encouragement.

What recommendation would you give to girls in search of to enter the AI area?

For ladies getting into the AI area, my recommendation is threefold: Search information relentlessly, as AI is a quickly evolving area. Embrace networking, as connections will open doorways to alternatives and provide invaluable help. And advocate for your self and others, as your voice is important in shaping an inclusive, equitable future for AI. Bear in mind, your distinctive views and experiences enrich the sector and drive innovation.

What are a few of the most urgent points going through AI because it evolves?

I imagine one of the vital urgent points going through AI because it evolves is to not get hung up on the newest hype cycles. We’re seeing this now with generative AI. Certain, generative AI presents important developments and can have large affect — good and dangerous. However different types of machine studying are in use at the moment which might be surreptitiously making selections that immediately have an effect on everybody’s means to train their rights. Moderately than specializing in the newest marvels of machine studying, it’s extra essential that we deal with how and the place machine studying is being utilized no matter its technological prowess.

What are some points AI customers ought to concentrate on?

AI customers ought to concentrate on points associated to information privateness and safety, the potential for bias in AI decision-making and the significance of transparency in how AI programs function and make selections. Understanding these points can empower customers to demand extra accountable and equitable AI programs.

What’s one of the best ways to responsibly construct AI?

Responsibly constructing AI entails integrating moral concerns at each stage of improvement and deployment. This contains numerous stakeholder engagement, clear methodologies, bias administration methods and ongoing affect assessments. Prioritizing the general public good and making certain AI applied sciences are developed with human rights, equity and inclusivity at their core are elementary.

How can traders higher push for accountable AI?

That is such an essential query! For a very long time we by no means expressly mentioned the function of traders. I can not categorical sufficient how impactful traders are! I imagine the trope that “regulation stifles innovation” is overused and is commonly unfaithful. As an alternative, I firmly imagine smaller companies can expertise a late mover benefit and be taught from the bigger AI corporations which have been growing accountable AI practices and the steering rising from academia, civil society and authorities. Traders have the ability to form the business’s course by making accountable AI practices a vital issue of their funding selections. This contains supporting initiatives that target addressing social challenges by AI, selling variety and inclusion throughout the AI workforce and advocating for robust governance and technical methods that assist to make sure AI applied sciences profit society as a complete.

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