• Chris Armbruster

Sustainability and Diversity at AI Guild Events

The Tech and Data industry is biased. Some examples:

  • 80:20 ratio: Staffing and recruiting data typically show a male-to-female ratio of 80:20 internationally.

  • Biased data: Even the most prominent and wealthiest firms have been established to use biased data for, e.g., natural language processing.

  • Discriminatory algorithms for critical use cases: Discriminatory practices have made the headlines, e.g., facial recognition, credit scoring, and fraud detection.

 

The Tech and Data industry is energy-intensive. Companies strive to reduce energy consumption, offset carbon emissions, and be climate neutral. Some companies also track their commitment and contribution to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

The Founding Letter of the AI Guild

The Founding Letter of the AI Guild (25 May 2019) states the following values:

  1. We strive for the ethical application of AI that contributes to the public good and the progress of humankind.

  2. We value diversity and do not tolerate discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, nationality, background, or abilities.

  3. We treat each other and our partners with respect, fairness, and kindness and communicate transparently and honestly.

  4. We favor the best idea wins approach over personal interests.

  5. We take responsibility for every action we take.

  6. We promise confidentiality to our sources.

For its practice, the AI Guild has a track record of gender balance and inclusivity when organizing events for members and the community. We champion sustainability, for example, by prioritizing online connectivity to avoid travel, working with companies to reduce energy consumption and emissions, and scouting for opportunities to use AI to enhance UN SDGs.


Purpose of the Event Management Guidelines

The AI Guild measures its practices for continual improvement. Since January 2020, the AI Guild has its Code of Conduct outlining how its values are implemented, including examples of expected behavior and unacceptable behavior.

 

AI Guild event management guidelines follow the code of conduct and ISO 20121: Sustainable events. Its purpose is to enable the AI Guild to manage its events in line with continual improvement.

  • 2020: Code of Conduct implementation on diversity, inclusion, and ethical AI.

  • 2021: Measuring and maintaining practices, e.g., gender balance, internationality, and inclusion for the #datalift event series (No 1-7 online, #datalift summit).

  • 2022: Guidelines and indicators for achieving climate neutrality.

  • 2023: Achieve climate-neutrality by Dezember 2023 through emissions reduction and offsetting.

Following the logic of measure, improving, and monitoring, we arrive at the following practice of goal achievement.

  1. Agree on indicators for measuring performance.

  2. Implementing policies to improve the outcome.

  3. Collecting data to monitor further progress towards goal achievement.

Key Dimensions of sustainability and diversity

The table provides an overview of crucial dimensions (rows) essential to the AI Guild. Each dimension impacts all areas of event management as described in these guidelines.

Climate neutrality

  • Indicator: Offset the electricity used for Livestreaming and in-person events.

  • Policy: Assume a ratio of 60% natural resources and 40% renewables. Offset traceable carbon emissions by December 2022.

  • Data for Monitoring: Estimate energy consumption per live stream and for each in-person event.

Gender balance

  • Indicator: Maintain the threshold of 40% women and men in speaking invitations as an indicator of parity.

  • Policy: Promotion of gender balance for all events with a female-first invitation policy for speakers.

  • Data for Monitoring: Track data for event speakers and moderators by gender.

Internationality

  • Indicator: Achieve the threshold of 20 nationalities represented among the speakers annually to indicate our international community outlook.

  • Policy: Use English as the official language when communicating with event speakers and attendees.

  • Data for Monitoring: Track data for event speakers and moderators by nationality and country of residence.

Inclusion

  • Indicator: Achieve the threshold of 20+ speaking opportunities p.a. specifically for, e.g., immigrants, parents with young children, late-career changers, mental health advocates, and LGBTQ+ themes in the profession.

  • Policy: Make visible diversity and inclusion in the profession (critical issues, good practice) through events.

  • Data for Monitoring: Track data on event attendance and reach.

#datalift and #datacareer events by the AI Guild

The focus of the #datalift event series is on use cases in production in Data Analytics and Machine Learning, showing successful cases and encouraging companies and practitioners to deploy them already. Since September 2019, we have run seven online events.

 

From 22-24 June 2022, the first #datalift summit happens in Berlin. In the future, we plan to run the #datalift summit annually, in-person and hybrid, and offer two additional online #datalift events every year.

 

The #datacareer events center on the development of the field in terms of specialization (e.g., Data Analyst, NLP Engineer, MLOps Engineer) and seniority (e.g., Senior, Director, CxO). All events are held online under ‘Fluent in Data’ and include talk show formats, panels, and workshops.


How the event owners, organizers, and partners use the guidelines

The guidelines are primarily for the AI Guild event owner, organizer, and partners (e.g., venue, catering). It is also available to all event stakeholders, suppliers, participants, and attendees.


Implementation

The AI Guild has identified areas of event management that it addresses to realize its values. We proceed as follows to make these guidelines actionable and easy to implement and monitor.

  • We set 2-3 annual priorities for each area and indicators set.

  • Hypothesis-driven, a primary policy or measure is determined to improve performance.

  • In a table, we assign each priority an indicator for measuring performance, a primary policy idea to improve performance, and which data is collected for monitoring.

Download the AI Guild Event Management Guidelines

AI Guild Event Management Guidelines 2022
.pdf
Download PDF • 98KB
 

Be a #datalift summit partner

Please find more information on the website https://www.thedatalift.eu/partner


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