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

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To springiness AI-focused women academics and others their well-deserved — and overdue — clip successful nan spotlight, TechCrunch is launching a series of interviews focusing connected singular women who’ve contributed to nan AI revolution. We’ll people respective pieces passim nan twelvemonth arsenic nan AI roar continues, highlighting cardinal activity that often goes unrecognized. Read much profiles here.

Brandie Nonnecke is nan founding head of nan CITRIS Policy Lab, headquartered astatine UC Berkeley, which supports interdisciplinary investigation to reside questions astir nan domiciled of regularisation successful promoting innovation. Nonnecke besides co-directors nan Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, wherever she leads projects connected AI, platforms and society, and nan UC Berkeley AI Policy Hub, an inaugural to train researchers to create effective AI governance and argumentation frameworks.

In her spare time, Nonnecke hosts a video and podcast series, TecHype, that analyzes emerging tech policies, regulations and laws, providing insights into nan benefits and risks and identifying strategies to harness tech for good.


Briefly, really did you get your commencement successful AI? What attracted you to nan field?

I’ve been moving successful responsible AI governance for astir a decade. My training successful technology, nationalist argumentation and their intersection pinch societal impacts drew maine into nan field. AI is already pervasive and profoundly impactful successful our lives — for amended and for worse. It’s important to maine to meaningfully lend to society’s expertise to harness this exertion for bully alternatively than guidelines connected nan sidelines.

What activity are you astir proud of (in nan AI field)?

I’m really proud of 2 things we’ve accomplished. First, The University of California was nan first assemblage to found responsible AI principles and a governance building to amended guarantee responsible procurement and usage of AI. We return our committedness to service nan nationalist successful a responsible mode seriously. I had nan grant of co-chairing nan UC Presidential Working Group connected AI and its consequent imperishable AI Council. In these roles, I’ve been capable to summation firsthand acquisition reasoning done really to champion operationalize our responsible AI principles successful bid to safeguard our faculty, staff, students, and nan broader communities we serve. Second, I deliberation it’s captious that nan nationalist understand emerging technologies and their existent benefits and risks. We launched TecHype, a video and podcast bid that demystifies emerging technologies and provides guidance connected effective method and argumentation interventions.

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

Be curious, persistent and undeterred by imposter syndrome. I’ve recovered it important to activity retired mentors who support diverseness and inclusion, and to connection nan aforesaid support to others entering nan field. Building inclusive communities successful tech has been a powerful measurement to stock experiences, proposal and encouragement.

What proposal would you springiness to women seeking to participate nan AI field?

For women entering nan AI field, my proposal is threefold: Seek knowledge relentlessly, arsenic AI is simply a quickly evolving field. Embrace networking, arsenic connections will unfastened doors to opportunities and connection invaluable support. And advocator for yourself and others, arsenic your sound is basal successful shaping an inclusive, equitable early for AI. Remember, your unsocial perspectives and experiences enrich nan section and thrust innovation.

What are immoderate of nan astir pressing issues facing AI arsenic it evolves?

I judge 1 of nan astir pressing issues facing AI arsenic it evolves is to not get hung up connected nan latest hype cycles. We’re seeing this now pinch generative AI. Sure, generative AI presents important advancements and will person tremendous effect — bully and bad. But different forms of instrumentality learning are successful usage coming that are surreptitiously making decisions that straight impact everyone’s expertise to workout their rights. Rather than focusing connected nan latest marvels of instrumentality learning, it’s much important that we attraction connected really and wherever instrumentality learning is being applied sloppy of its technological prowess.

What are immoderate issues AI users should beryllium alert of?

AI users should beryllium alert of issues related to information privateness and security, nan imaginable for bias successful AI decision-making and nan value of transparency successful really AI systems run and make decisions. Understanding these issues tin empower users to request much accountable and equitable AI systems.

What is nan champion measurement to responsibly build AI?

Responsibly building AI involves integrating ethical considerations astatine each shape of improvement and deployment. This includes divers stakeholder engagement, transparent methodologies, bias guidance strategies and ongoing effect assessments. Prioritizing nan nationalist bully and ensuring AI technologies are developed pinch quality rights, fairness and inclusivity astatine their halfway are fundamental.

How tin investors amended push for responsible AI?

This is specified an important question! For a agelong clip we ne'er expressly discussed nan domiciled of investors. I cannot definitive capable really impactful investors are! I judge nan trope that “regulation stifles innovation” is overused and is often untrue. Instead, I firmly judge smaller firms tin acquisition a precocious mover advantage and study from nan larger AI companies that person been processing responsible AI practices and nan guidance emerging from academia, civilian nine and government. Investors person nan powerfulness to style nan industry’s guidance by making responsible AI practices a captious facet successful their finance decisions. This includes supporting initiatives that attraction connected addressing societal challenges done AI, promoting diverseness and inclusion wrong nan AI workforce and advocating for beardown governance and method strategies that thief to guarantee AI technologies use nine arsenic a whole.