Tech CEOs Say Ethical A.I. and Innovation Are ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’

CEOs of start-ups and big tech companies spoke at the TIME100 Summit on Wednesday about innovating with artificial intelligence in an ethical way, just moments before a spirited debate on the future of the technology.

“Regulation and innovation are two sides of the same coin,” said Rosanne Kincaid-Smith, Group Chief Operating Officer of Northern Data Group, which is a signature partner of the TIME100 Summit. She added tech companies and industry leaders should work towards better regulation. “Not actively contributing through lobbying would be a huge miss for us,” she said.

Kincaid-Smith stressed the benefits of AI and suggested that questions about whether AI is “evil” and going to negatively impact the workforce are misguided. “We forget to remind ourselves that Artificial Intelligence is artificial. It’s not natural…It’s an artifact of our own learning, of human culture, of human history…so it’s incumbent on us to make sure it reflects the best of us,” she said.

Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President and Chief Impact Officer of IBM, shared IBM is investing more resources into climate modeling. IBM is working with NASA to build an AI foundation model to improve the speed, accuracy and accessibility of weather forecasting. 

Mathias Wikström, CEO of Doconomy, which gives banks financial tools to drive global climate action, stressed that climate literacy is key to achieving climate justice. 

The TIME100 Summit convenes leaders from the global TIME100 community to spotlight solutions and encourage action toward a better world. This year’s summit features a variety of speakers across a diverse range of sectors, including politics, business, health and science, culture, and more.

Speakers for the 2024 TIME100 Summit include actor Elliot Page, designer Tory Burch, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, WNBA champion A’ja Wilson, author Margaret Atwood, NYSE president Lynn Martin, comedian Alex Edelman, professor Yoshua Bengio, 68th Secretary of State John Kerry, actor Jane Fonda, and many more.

The TIME100 Summit was presented by Booking.com, Citi, Merck, Northern Data Group, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and Verizon.

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Sanya Mansoor