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AI Awards 2024 – Best Responsible AI Program: Scotiabank

Scotiabank’s data and AI ethics program has been awarded Best Responsible AI Program at the 2024 DataIQ AI Awards as a pioneering initiative in the financial industry.
AI Awards 2024 - Best Responsible AI Program – Scotiabank

With the astronomical rise of AI and generative AI tools, it is essential that businesses manage and use their data ethically and responsibly, and it was agreed by the 2024 DataIQ AI Awards judging panel that Scotiabank had the Best Responsible AI Program. Scotiabank’s data and AI ethics program, Operationalizing Ethical Principles, has shown Scotiabank to take the lead for the industry when it comes to ethics and responsibility in adopting a public data ethics commitment statement and creating and implementing tools. 

The judges noted that Scotiabank was the first Canadian bank with a designated Data Ethics team, and it holds a public Data Ethics Commitment that guides the bank in its efforts to ensure adherence to its principles around the ethical use of data and AI. 

“Scotiabank’s Data Ethics program stands out as a pioneering initiative in the financial industry, demonstrating a comprehensive commitment to operationalizing ethical practices throughout the data and AI lifecycles.” – Judges’ comment. 

AI struggles with issues such as human bias reflected in data being picked up and amplified; however, if used responsibly, such disparities can not only be prevented, but data analytics especially when used with AI, can help develop more objective decision tools, which is what Scotiabank has done. This is pivotal as AI and data-driven decision-making has become more prominent within organizations.  

Scotiabank’s Data Ethics program ensures that data and AI ethics risks are reviewed systematically before projects are deployed, allowing delivery of best-in-class solutions with minimized risks of unintended negative consequences for customers. 

To ensure that all employees remain accountable to act in accordance with the Bank’s data ethics principles, the principles have been incorporated into the Bank’s Code of Conduct, which employees attest to on an annual basis. 

“Notable highlights include the expansion of mandatory training courses and recognition through industry awards, underscoring Scotiabank’s significant contributions to advancing ethical data practices and responsible AI.” – Judges’ comment. 

The business launched a mandatory data ethics training course for employees working in advanced analytics and the customer data, insights, and analytics group and made the course available to any interested employees. This was extended to those team members based in Latin America by converting the course into Spanish to ensure a global approach to data ethics was established.  

Scotiabank has chosen to focus beyond the ethics of AI and is one of the first organizations in the financial industry to tackle ethical concerns that arise throughout the data lifecycle as a centralized function and at scale. By developing tools and processes for the incorporation of data and AI ethics considerations throughout the data lifecycle, Scotiabank has enabled a large-scale, consistent, systematic review of data and AI ethics-related risks across the bank. The result is that this brings proactive guidance to practitioners.  

“Through its dedicated Data Ethics team and public Data Ethics Commitment, Scotiabank ensures adherence to principles of accountability, transparency, and safety. The incorporation of data ethics into the Code of Conduct and extensive training initiatives further foster a culture of responsible data use across the organization.” – Judges’ comment.  

AI Awards 2024
Year: 2024
Category: Best Responsible AI Program

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