Hypergiant Executive’s AI-Ethics Framework Concept Recognized With IEEE Award

John Davidson of Hypergiant Industries
Photo: John Davidson/Hypergiant Industries

By: Kathy Pretz

THE INSTITUTE The recipient of the 2020 IEEE Award for Distinguished Ethical Practices is IEEE Member Will Griffin, the chief ethics officer of Hypergiant Industries. The Texas company offers a suite of AI services.

The award, sponsored by the IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, recognizes an IEEE member or an organization employing IEEE members for exemplary ethical behavior practices, persuasive advocacy, or promotion of ethical behavior or practices. Griffin was recognized for sustained professional advocacy of ethical practices in industry and academia. The EMCC presented him with the award at a virtual ceremony held on 2 March.

Griffin is credited with developing and implementing Top of Mind Ethics, a three-part, companywide artificial intelligence framework. Hypergiant uses its criteria to analyze how a client is using AI, Griffin explained during the awards ceremony. The company looks at whether there’s a positive intent for how the AI will be used, for example, and what its impact on society is likely to be.

“Our goal is to try to get ethical reasoning at the top of mind for AI designers and developers and embedded into the company’s product development workflow,” Griffin said. “We apply this framework to almost every use case that we have, and it requires our ethics team to have a really strong technical understanding of the AI solution.”

Griffin received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H., as well as a degree from Harvard Law School. His Top of Mind framework earned Hypergiant a Communitas Award, which recognizes businesses, organizations, and individuals who unselfishly give of themselves and their resources.

The deadline for nominations for the annual IEEE award is 1 July.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

This article originally appeared in IEEE Spectrum on 22 March 2021.