What are your plans this Tuesday? Is it attending Marketing Edge? This one-day mega dose of inspiration and insight, also known as one of AMA Houston’s major yearly conferences, will feature top marketers from across the country. You’ll be able to indulge in three keynote sessions, four breakout sessions, and panels with more than 20 speakers. With all of these possibilities, you can tailor your experience to your specific interests.

Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Will Griffin, one of our keynote speakers at Marketing Edge. After you hear his story, you won’t want to miss out on his presentation on October 22.

Name, role, and current company? 

Will Griffin, VP of Ethics & Diversity in AI. Hypergiant Industries’ role: To ensure that our company and the AI solutions we develop and deploy for clients meet the highest ethical standards, while creating superior economic value.

How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?

My early career choices set expectations for what high quality work should look like and the extraordinary amount of effort required to produce it. I was fortunate to begin my career at companies that had excellent training programs such as Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Co. Both have strong performance-based cultures, a demanding work environment, and there is an extreme emphasis put on intellectual curiosity and producing a high quality work product.

What did you do at work yesterday?

I audited the ethics & compliance courses used by one for our clients to better understand the way their managers and employees are currently being trained in ethics. This is in advance of a workshop we are conducting to deploy our ethics in AI framework across all of their on-boarding and continuing education training programs. 

I met with our internal team to plan our content for a behavioral ethics course in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas (Spring 2020). I will be guest lecturing and advising a field study team of graduating computer science students.

Finally, I met with our Head of R&D, Dan Haab, to produce an ethics in AI case study on the EOS BioReactor, our newly-released AI-driven Carbon Sequestration machine. I look forward to sharing this case study with everyone at AMA’s Marketing Edge conference on October 22.

What are you speaking on at Marketing Edge?

I will be speaking on the ways that AI is shifting the traditional role of marketers and how marketers well-versed in ethical reasoning can have an enormous influence in growing their companies, while ensuring AI benefits the whole of humanity.

What are ways you or your company have addressed accessibility? 

Our VP of Applied Science, Marc Boudria has a strong research emphasis on accessibility in AI and has written a paper to be published with Penn State’s Nittany Alliance in AI on this subject. The general gist is that technologists, companies, and policymakers have to rethink their top-down approach to accessibility and include more stakeholders from the differently-abled community in the research, design, development, and deployment of AI products. It is an exciting area that Hypergiant intends to be a leader in. 

What are ways you or your company have been innovative in your marketing strategy? 

While most of our current customers are in critical infrastructure industries (oil & gas, space, defense, etc.), our Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Lamm, always makes sure that we keep end users (people) in mind in everything we do. Our headquarters is at the intersection of the two most iconic streets in Austin (6​th​ and Congress). Most of our employees wear Hypergiant branded apparel everywhere we go. We have deployed street teams and billboards (digital and traditional) in the large metropolitan centers around the world, and we are transparent about our current research and AI implementations to society-at-large. Ultimately, the success of AI depends on the technology companies building trust with the public and demonstrating the ways that AI is and will continue to enhance the quality of their lives.

How have you seen technology transform marketing? 

The biggest change I have seen with the explosion of technology (AI in particular) is the elevation of CTOs and CIOs who are taking over organizational roles and functions traditionally reserved for marketers. The capture, organization, and interpretation of data has moved the technologist into direct contact with customers (B2B and B2C) and it has pushed out marketers who not well-versed in data strategies.

This shift in the organizational balance of power will continue until a) marketers develop a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of data and AI and b) they learn how to use their natural strengths of customer relationship management to demonstrate their continued value to their companies. Ethics in AI and ethical reasoning will play a pivotal role for marketers and I’m excited to share our thoughts on this at Marketing Edge 2019. 

What technology is on your 2020 bucket list?  

The focus for 2020 is developing tools and content to evangelize the necessity and competitive advantage of integrating ethical reasoning into all aspects of the AI value chain. The technology I am most excited about is e-learning solutions that enable us to reach the most number of technologists and marketers with the Hypergiant Ethical Reasoning Framework.

Feeling inspired? Hear Will tell his story in a couple of days at Marketing Edge! Join us at the Norris Conference Center from 8:30 a.m.5:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!

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