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HRPA Members Explore Leading AI in the C-Suite

HR Policy held a webinar, Leading AI in the C-Suite: HR and Legal Collaboration for Responsible Governance, highlighting the critical role of AI governance, the importance of education and employee engagement, and the need for careful planning to address challenges and leverage opportunities in AI.

Tim Bartl kicked off the event by sharing examples of poor AI governance negatively impacting companies, including Sports Illustrated’s publication of articles arguably generated by AI and an Air Canada chatbot that provided a customer with a hallucinated refund policy which a Canadian court ruled Air Canada must honor. These examples underscore the importance of robust AI governance to protect a company’s public perception, efficiency, legal compliance, and to avoid the AI Incident Database list.

Key Insights from Panelists

Prasad Setty shared that governance in AI is about responsible management, not just legal compliance. It ensures technology is used beneficially and safely, much like previous tech implementations (e.g., the internet, social media) in workplaces.

Donna Morris: Walmart uses AI and machine learning to serve customers and improve operations, and she views HR as an enabler of AI company wide. Walmart has developed an in-house AI assistant, "My Assistant," which aids in tasks ranging from marketing campaigns to product specifications. The company prioritizes education on responsible AI use, ensuring transparency, security, privacy, fairness, and accountability. Morris emphasized the need for cultural readiness for change and that early adopters and organizational agility are crucial for successful AI implementation.

Julie Duffy: Emphasized governance as an AI accelerator rather than a barrier. Textron focused on how AI can improve its businesses and has established an AI advisory board to analyze use cases and address concerns such as IP and data access. HR plays a pivotal role on this board, translating technical and legal aspects into practical terms for employees. Ms. Duffy cited early engagement with employees and addressing privacy regulations as essential to avoid conflicts and facilitate smoother AI integration. One business success involved creating a system that helps maintenance personnel more quickly access manuals on Textron’s wide variety of aircraft. AI has also improved HR tasks such as open enrollment, reducing confusion and aiding decision-making. 

Michael Ross shared that governance could accelerate progress by providing necessary oversight and controls. Leveraging past use cases and governance models can help avoid reinventing the wheel. Companies should embed governance in AI projects and focus on specific AI solutions. He emphasized that small wins build confidence and support over time.

Upcoming HRPA webinar: To learn more about AI use cases and their impact on the job and talent landscapes, be sure to RSVP for the next webinar in our AI series – AI at Work, on July 11th 12-1PM ET.

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Authors: Alexandria Trujillo

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