From the start, Workday set out to inspire a brighter workday for all. It’s in this spirit that we’ve been focused on helping ensure that our AI ethics principles are fully operationalized across the company and aligned with the expectations of our customers, partners, and key stakeholders. 

We’re proud of our world-class data privacy program, and we’re leveraging lessons learned in building and maintaining that program as we continue to expand our robust and customer-centric approach to responsible artificial intelligence (RAI) governance. 

In our white paper, “Empowering Innovation through Responsible AI Governance,” we share in great detail what we’ve been doing with RAI governance at Workday. Below is an overview of the key takeaways from the paper, as well as what we have planned for the future.

Our Approach to Responsible AI

Our RAI program starts with a commitment at the very top. Key executives from across the company, including our chief integrity and compliance officer, chief diversity officer, and chief technology officer participate on our RAI Advisory Board, which I chair. This board meets regularly to review and approve new aspects of the RAI program and advise on novel issues as they arise.

In addition to the RAI Advisory Board, we’re growing our dedicated RAI team, which is responsible for program design and administration, training and development, and orchestrating the ethical review of our AI and ML technologies. Our RAI scientists and technology experts pilot the development of RAI governance frameworks and bring items to the RAI Advisory Board for review and approval. 

Our RAI team relies on input and participation from our network of RAI champions. These experts from across the organization assist in helping ensure a complete understanding of the technical, legal, and compliance details needed for governance, and serve as RAI ambassadors within their respective teams and as the local go-to resource for guidance and support.

Core Aspects of RAI Governance

Leveraging best practices including those described in the NIST AI Risk Management Framework, we have built a set of RAI guidelines for AI and machine learning (ML) development at Workday. The guidelines provide our product and technology teams with directions on how to implement our AI ethics principles in the development of responsible AI solutions. 

One of the most important guidelines is to always incorporate human review of any outputs generated from the AI technology that we release. Our guidelines also highlight the importance of transparency and disclosure, which we operationalize primarily through our machine learning fact sheets, providing our customers with a clear understanding of how our AI and ML technologies are developed and assessed in order to help mitigate any risks associated with their use. Based on the specifics of the intended use case for the solution, additional guidelines in the areas of fairness and bias mitigation, explainability and interpretability, and maintenance and monitoring may be required, among others.

In order to implement and scale a risk-based approach to AI and ML development at Workday, we’ve created an RAI risk evaluation tool that our product managers (PMs) use at the ideation stage of any new AI and ML project. The tool walks PMs through a series of questions to determine the sensitivity level of the technology and the appropriate set of RAI guidelines to highlight, relevant to the intended use case.

One of the most important guidelines is to always incorporate human review of any outputs generated from the AI technology that we release.

The Future of Responsible AI

Looking ahead, Workday is committed to further enhancing our RAI governance program. We continue to expand our RAI team and designate additional Workmates as RAI Champions, fostering a culture of awareness and accountability. 

It’s also important to note that while we prioritize responsible AI at Workday, we also actively engage in advocating for it beyond our organization. We are vocal proponents of AI regulation that builds trust and promotes innovation. We play a leading role in AI-focused policy discussions at the federal, state, and local levels in the United States. Moreover, we collaborate with the European Union and other global governments to drive responsible AI practices internationally.

As one of the world’s most ethical companies, we’re committed to responsible AI. We always keep customer and stakeholder trust top of mind and work to ensure that our core values of integrity and innovation are reflected in the AI and ML solutions that we develop. By taking proactive measures, making thoughtful investments in this area, and engaging with valued stakeholders, we’ll help shape a future where RAI becomes a driving force for positive change at Workday and beyond.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Responsible AI efforts, download our whitepaper, “Empowering Innovation through Responsible AI Governance.

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