SAS To Focus On Responsible Innovation Initiative


Formalising a longstanding commitment to equity and human-centricity, SAS is launching a responsible innovation initiative, guided by the SAS Data Ethics Practice.

Responsible innovation includes essential topics like responsible AI, algorithms and bias to consider the entire innovation process. An accountable innovation approach injects equity and fairness at every step, from idea to development to deployment.

“By putting humans at the centre of the innovation process, SAS is committed to building a world where data uplifts and empowers everyone. The company has been at the centre of the evolution of data science and has the expertise and experience to be an important contributor to the global effort to innovate responsibly,” said Bryan Harris, Chief Technology Officer, SAS.

The SAS Data Ethics Practice (DEP) is a cross-functional team that guides a globally coordinated effort to help employees and customers deploy data-driven systems that promote human well-being, agency and equity. It is led by Reggie Townsend, who was recently appointed to the US Department of Commerce’s National AI Advisory Council (NAIAC). He also serves on the board of EqualAI, a nonprofit organisation focused on reducing unconscious bias in the development and use of AI.

Townsend and the DEP counsel and coordinate with SAS Research and Development and other groups within the company to embed responsible innovation principles of human-centricity, inclusivity, transparency, accountability, robustness, and privacy and security.

Many innovative and committed organisations strive to improve the responsible use of technology. For example, SAS collaborated with many of America’s leading companies to launch the Business Roundtable’s Roadmap for Responsible AI. SAS will continue to work with and learn from customers, partners, academics, students, community organisations and nonprofits, to inform its own practices and explore new ways to lift people up with data and analytics.