Top 10 AI governance essentials every CPO needs to know in 2023

Learn how to integrate AI governance into your product strategies to achieve responsible AI use

Linda Thielova
Head of OneTrust Privacy Center of Excellence, DPO
May 15, 2023

A Skyscraper with an uneven, stacked glass cube appearance.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the modern business landscape. This may come as no surprise with the number of ChatGPT posts you’ve seen in your LinkedIn feed. With the rapid advancements in AI technology, staying on top of the latest trends to integrate AI into your product strategy is essential. Let’s explore the top 10 AI essentials that every CPO should know to succeed in today’s competitive market, with a focus on the critical aspect of AI governance.


1. Importance of data quality

Your AI models are only as good as the data they’re trained on. Ensuring data quality and integrity is a top priority for any CPO looking to implement AI solutions. Make sure to collect, clean, and label data properly to guarantee the accuracy of your AI models and improve decision-making. 

This also extends to any vendors that your organization works with. When utilizing vendor data, it’s important to have audits, reliable documentation, and a set of standards in place that highlight data requirements for any third-party data sources involved. Proper AI governance starts with solid data foundations.


2. Ethical AI and bias mitigation

As AI becomes more prevalent, ethical concerns and potential biases in AI models are drawing attention, and rightfully so. CPOs need to understand the importance of designing and implementing AI solutions that are transparent, fair, and accountable. Stay updated on the latest AI ethics guidelines and work closely with your data science team to identify and mitigate biases in your AI models. Your privacy teams need to be sufficiently diverse in order to identify cases of bias in your AI systems. Maintaining the highest ethical standards in your AI systems is a key component of an AI governance framework.


3. AI explainability

CPOs should prioritize AI explainability when developing and deploying AI solutions. AI models should be transparent and easy to understand, not only for technical teams but also for stakeholders and end users. Explainable AI helps build trust, simplifies troubleshooting, and ensures regulatory compliance. This transparency is a key component of effective AI governance.


4. AI integration with existing systems

To successfully incorporate AI into your products, seamless integration with your existing systems and processes is crucial. Consider how AI will interact with your current infrastructure and ensure that the necessary resources and support are available for a smooth implementation. AI governance frameworks should be designed to facilitate this integration.


5. The role of human-in-the-loop

AI is a powerful tool, but it is not a replacement for human expertise. CPOs should recognize the importance of human-in-the-loop systems, where AI and human experts collaborate to deliver improved results. CPOs also need to ensure that humans stay in the loop even as AI systems evolve – while certifying that the human oversight in place continues to be effective. This approach enhances AI decision-making while maintaining human oversight, which is an essential aspect of AI governance.


6. AI and cybersecurity

As AI becomes more integrated into products, it's essential for CPOs to align with their security teams on the company’s approach to tackling cybersecurity risks. These security risks bring privacy risks along with them so it’s important for your privacy and security teams to work in tandem to handle these issues. Protect your AI systems and data from threats by investing in robust security measures, such as encryption, access control, and regular security audits. Strong AI governance includes comprehensive cybersecurity strategies and coordination between privacy and security teams on risk management strategies.


7. AI talent management

Finding and retaining skilled AI professionals is crucial for any CPO planning to implement AI strategies. Build a strong AI team by recruiting the right talent and providing ongoing training and development opportunities to keep them up-to-date with the latest AI advancements. AI governance encompasses effective talent management to ensure long-term success.


8. AI regulations and compliance

AI regulations are evolving, and CPOs need to stay informed about the latest regulatory developments to ensure compliance. Familiarize yourself with relevant AI laws and guidelines, and work closely with your legal and compliance teams to minimize risks. AI governance is essential in navigating the ever-changing landscape of AI regulations and maintaining compliance. To stay up to date on the latest regulations in the AI space, visit the OneTrust DataGuidance AI Tracker.  


9. Scalability of AI solutions

AI solutions should be designed with scalability in mind. CPOs must consider how their AI models and infrastructure will adapt to increasing data volume, complexity, and performance requirements. Invest in scalable AI solutions to meet the growing needs of your business. A well-defined AI governance framework will ensure that scalability is factored into AI implementation.


10. Continuous AI model monitoring and maintenance

AI models require regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure optimal performance. CPOs should establish processes for monitoring model performance, updating data sets, and retraining models as needed. In many cases, the data sets for AI systems are owned by Data & Analytics teams or vendors that the company works with. 

CPOs need to establish regular communications with the parties involved to guarantee that they’re meeting the privacy criteria in place, while also identifying possible areas for optimization. Effective AI governance includes continuous evaluation and improvement of AI systems to ensure they meet the evolving needs of your organization.


Wrapping it up: Embracing AI and effective governance for CPOs

AI is rapidly changing the way businesses operate, and CPOs must adapt to remain competitive. By understanding and implementing these top 10 AI governance essentials, your organization will be better equipped to harness the power of AI for your organization's success. Privacy teams are in a unique position where effective programs already have checks and reviews in place for new products/services or processes, which can be extended to develop an AI governance framework for a budding AI program.


Learn more about how the OneTrust AI Governance solution can help your organization.

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