Industry leaders join forces to push "AI for the greater good"

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 11, 2020 — On Friday, leading organizations across the U.S. financial services, technology and academic industries announced the formation of a new National Council for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI). The council brings together the Brookings Institution, CUNY, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mastercard, Microsoft, Nasdaq, Plug and Play, SUNY, University of Central Florida, and Visa with the goal of maximizing technology to jointly solve specific issues of interest to the industry.

“The goal of the newly created NCAI is to establish a pragmatic coalition with public-private partnerships in the financial services sector to identify and address significant societal and industry barriers,” said Gretchen O’Hara, vice president of AI and sustainability strategy, Microsoft U.S. “I am excited about the launch of our distinguished board, and the continued momentum to work with the members of this coalition to better serve the needs of our stakeholders and communities through AI innovation.”

The NCAI board, composed of volunteer senior executives acting as advisors to the council on behalf of their company or organization, will work to co-create AI solutions for positive societal and financial impact, identify and set the AI strategy and vision for a wide range of projects, and track AI adoption progress. Each member organization has nominated its own AI ambassadors to serve as regional leads and drive programs. All members have an equal voice in the way it operates and is governed.

The council intends to apply AI to resolve significant challenges in business such as:

  • General economic and industrial challenges – including research transfer, industry standards and funding instruments
  • Digital skills and employability – including organizational and cultural challenges, and labor policies
  • Data privacy – including data access and shared innovation

“Although there are many councils focusing on resolving technology challenges, I appreciate NCAI’s charter to figure out how AI can deliver deeper societal impact,” said Ed Fandrey, vice president of Financial Services, Microsoft U.S. “The NCAI coalition brings partners together across the industry to ensure AI and the technologies underpinning it are transparent and safe for not only financial services customers but throughout the regulated industry.”

Overall, the objective of the collaboration is to accelerate AI innovation and adoption by:

  • Lowering the risk of AI adoption and bias
  • Lowering the barrier of entry to innovate
  • Defining the educational journey for the AI talent of the future and equipping workers facing AI displacement with the right skills to maintain career momentum
  • Serving as an advisor of vision, information and multidisciplinary partnership with a focus on AI policy

To achieve these goals, the NCAI will deliver a robust curriculum for AI education and skilling, and will engage with the community through research white papers, new tools and programs, hosted events, and social media outreach to make AI more applicable and impactful. The council also plans to host quarterly meetings and public events to transparently communicate the resolution and progress of key challenges through AI adoption.

Initial work from the council will focus on reskilling and upskilling of the current workforce and business leaders. More details about the coalition’s programs and its impacts will be available in early 2021.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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