2022-04-14 | NYSE: IBM | Press release

  • 80% of respondents to this year’s survey named a non-technical executive as the top advocate for AI ethics, up from 15% in 2018
  • 79% of CEOs surveyed are ready to implement ethical AI practices, but less than a quarter of organizations have acted on them
  • 68% of organizations agree that diversity is important for mitigating bias in AI, but respondents reported that their AI teams are: 5.5 times less inclusive of women, 4 times less inclusive of LGBT+ people, and 1 .7 times less racially inclusive

ARMONK, NY, April 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A New IBM (NYSE: IBM) The Institute for Business Value (IBV) study found a sea change in the roles responsible for leading and upholding AI ethics in an organization. When asked which function was primarily responsible for AI ethics, 80% of respondents named a non-technical executive, such as a CEO, as the primary “champion” for AI ethics. ‘AI, a sharp increase from 15% in 2018.

Check out the interactive multi-channel press release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/9002052-ibm-study-ai-ethics-action-enterprise-guide-progressing-trustworthy/

The global study* also indicates that despite a strong imperative to advance trustworthy AI, including better performance against peers in sustainability, social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, there remains a gap between leadership intent and meaningful action.. The study found:

Business leaders are now seen as the driving force behind AI ethics

  • CEOs (28%) – but also board members (10%), general counsels (10%), privacy officers (8%) and risk and compliance officers (6%) ) are considered the most responsible for AI ethics by respondents.
  • While 66% of respondents cite the CEO or other senior executive as having a strong influence on their organization’s ethics strategy, more than half cite guidance from the board of directors (58%) and the shareholder community (53 %).

Building trustworthy AI is seen as a strategic differentiator and organizations are beginning to implement AI ethics mechanisms.

  • More than three-quarters of business leaders surveyed this year agree that AI ethics are important to their organization, up from around 50% in 2018.
  • At the same time, 75% of respondents believe ethics is a source of competitive differentiation, and more than 67% of respondents who consider AI and AI ethics important indicate that their organizations outperform their peers on sustainability, social responsibility, diversity and inclusion.
  • Many companies have started to make progress. In fact, more than half of respondents say their organizations have taken steps to integrate AI ethics into their existing approach to business ethics.
  • Over 45% of respondents say their organizations have created AI-specific ethical mechanisms, such as an AI project risk assessment framework and audit/review process.

Ensuring ethical principles are embedded in AI solutions is an urgent need for organizations, but progress is still too slow

  • More CEOs surveyed (79%) are now willing to embed AI ethics into their AI practices – up from 20% in 2018 – and more than half of organizations surveyed publicly endorsed the common principles of AI ethics.
  • Yet less than a quarter of organizations surveyed have operationalized AI ethics, and less than 20% of respondents strongly agree that their organization’s practices and actions match (or exceed) their stated principles and values.
  • 68% of organizations surveyed agree that having a diverse and inclusive workplace is important for mitigating bias in AI, but results indicate that AI teams are still significantly less diverse than their workforces. organizations: 5.5 times less inclusive of women, 4 times less inclusive of LGBT+ people and 1.7 times less racially inclusive.

“As many companies today use AI algorithms in their business, they potentially face increasing internal and external demands to design these algorithms to be fair, secure and trustworthy; yet, there are has had little progress in the industry to embed AI ethics into their practices,” said Jesus Mantas, Global Managing Partner, IBM Consulting. “The results of our IBV study demonstrate that building trustworthy AI is a business imperative and societal expectation, not just a compliance issue. Thus, companies can implement a governance model and embed ethical principles throughout the AI ​​lifecycle.

It is time for companies to act. The study data suggests that organizations that implement a broad AI ethics strategy intertwined across all business units can have a competitive advantage in the future. The study offers recommended actions for business leaders, including:

  • Adopt a transversal and collaborative approach – Ethical AI requires a holistic approach and a holistic skill set among all stakeholders involved in the AI ​​ethics process. C-Suite AI leaders, designers, behavioral scientists, data scientists and engineers each have a distinct role to play in the journey of trustworthy AI.
  • Establish both organizational and AI lifecycle governance to operationalize the discipline of AI ethics – adopt a holistic approach to incentivize, manage and govern AI solutions throughout the AI ​​lifecycle, from establishing the right culture to nurture AI responsibly, to supporting practices and policies. through the products.
  • Go beyond your organization for a partnership – broaden your approach by identifying and engaging key AI-focused technology partners, academics, startups, and other ecosystem partners to establish “ethical interoperability”.


The IBV study, “AI Ethics in Action: A Business Guide to Advancing Trustworthy AI,” surveyed 1,200 executives in 22 countries and 22 industries to understand their stance on the importance of AI ethics and how organizations are operationalizing it. The study was conducted in cooperation with Oxford Economics in 2021. The full study is available at https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/report/ai-ethics-in-action.

About the IBM Institute for Business Value

For two decades, the IBM Institute for Business Value has served as the thought leadership think tank for IBM. What inspires us is to produce research-based, technology-driven strategic insights that help leaders make smarter business decisions.

From our unique position at the intersection of business, technology and society, we survey, interview and engage with thousands of executives, consumers and experts each year, synthesizing their insights into credible, inspiring insights. and usable.

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IBM External Relations

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75% of respondents see ethics as a source of competitive differentiation

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James G. Williams