CARY – A SAS executive has been named to the board of directors for EqualAI, a nonprofit that aims to reduce unconscious bias in how artificial intelligence is both developed and used.

Reggie Townsend, the director of the data ethics practice at SAS, officially joined the organization’s board of directors.  According to SAS, the company has also joined the organization as a corporate partner.

“I’m honored to join the board of EqualAI and work with the team on expanding AI accountability, inclusivity and equity,” said Townsend, in a statement released by the nonprofit organization this week.  “AI comes with promise and peril.  As AI proliferates and penetrates so many aspects of our lives, now is a critical time in our history to take action.” “

According to the statement, Townsend will serve on the board in a capacity that enables him to leverage and lend technical expertise, as well as share experiences and best practices from SAS.

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Additional role

Townsend is already a member of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee and is one of the advisors to the administration of President Joe Biden, according to prior reporting from WRAL TechWire.  He recently earned a credential from EqualAI that pertains to responsible governance of artificial intelligence, the company statement noted.

“Reggie’s deep understanding with regard to mitigating harms through fair, sustainable applications of data, artificial intelligence and other technologies is a critical piece of delivering on our mission,” said Miriam Vogel, president and CEO of EqualAI and Chair of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC), in a statement. “I am also highly appreciative to have SAS take a position of leadership in their industry by becoming a member of EqualAI and committing to the innovative, responsible, and inclusive artificial intelligence.”

The responsible use of artificial intelligence was one of the primary focal points of a SAS event earlier this quarter, as the company prepares to become what it calls “IPO ready.”

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