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The Rise of the Chief AI Officer: A New C-Suite Frontier

Written by: Molly-Anna MaQuirl | Posted: 18-02-2024

The Rise of the Chief AI Officer: A New C-Suite Frontier

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

As the demand for Artificial Intelligence expertise continues to surge across various sectors, a novel executive role has come to the fore: the Chief AI Officer. This strategic addition to the C-suite not only reflects the evolving landscape of modern businesses but also heralds a new era of leadership and innovation.

This role is being embraced by many companies, both large and small, as they seek to look to the future and explore the ways in which AI will be able to benefit their practices and ambitions. AI knowledge is a specialist skill that is in high demand.

In September 2023, the Mayo Clinic, based in Arizona, broke ground when it made the first of this type of role. Doctors working out of the Arizona site had been experimenting with AI for many years, but the release of ChatGPT and the AI news that followed led to companies looking to find someone capable of working with the technology. AI jobs have become one of the hottest roles in the whole of the US.

The executives at the Mayo Clinic appointed Dr. Bhavik Patel, who is a trained radiologist with experience in AI as their first ‘CAIO’. He has since helped to create a new model that looks to improve the speed of diagnosing rare heart diseases by analyzing huge amounts of data from ultrasounds.

"We’re really trying to foster some of these data and AI capabilities throughout every department, every division, every work group,” he said. He also explained that “it helps to have a coordinating function with the depth of expertise.

A New Landscape

The response and the growth in specialized AI jobs have also been seen across many other industries. Equifax, the credit bureau, and law firms such as Eversheds Sutherland have appointed new staff in AI roles, along with the New York Times. In fact, 400 different federal departments have also started looking for staff in this position to comply with a government safeguarding order. 

122 people with the title of chief or vice president of AI joined a forum on the review site Glassdoor in the last year, up from only 19 in 2022. This huge jump shows how companies are keen to make the most of this new technology but also look to navigate through the risks and negatives that can come from it.

Dr Svetlana Bender was appointed the VP of AI and Behavioural Science at insurance company Florida Blue to help pilot a chatbot to analyze customer data. She has also recently hired an AI executive.

Another consulting firm, Accenture, added a chief AI officer, promoting Lan Guan to the role. The company is also moving into the area more seriously, focusing on creating AI tools for the insurance industry and its own insurance products.

Back in September, Western University appointed Mark Daley as its first-ever Chief AI Officer, and his role continues to look at the morality of AI as well as how the university can use the technology.

I feel a moral imperative as an educator to help them to understand what ethical uses [of AI] are, and it’s going to be co-discovery,” said Daley.

Further growth in AI jobs is almost inevitable as companies look to stay abreast of the latest developments and ensure they aren’t missing out on innovations in their sector in the coming months and years.

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The Rise of the Chief AI Officer: A New C-Suite Frontier

Written by: Molly-Anna MaQuirl | Posted: 18-02-2024

The Rise of the Chief AI Officer: A New C-Suite Frontier

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

As the demand for Artificial Intelligence expertise continues to surge across various sectors, a novel executive role has come to the fore: the Chief AI Officer. This strategic addition to the C-suite not only reflects the evolving landscape of modern businesses but also heralds a new era of leadership and innovation.

This role is being embraced by many companies, both large and small, as they seek to look to the future and explore the ways in which AI will be able to benefit their practices and ambitions. AI knowledge is a specialist skill that is in high demand.

In September 2023, the Mayo Clinic, based in Arizona, broke ground when it made the first of this type of role. Doctors working out of the Arizona site had been experimenting with AI for many years, but the release of ChatGPT and the AI news that followed led to companies looking to find someone capable of working with the technology. AI jobs have become one of the hottest roles in the whole of the US.

The executives at the Mayo Clinic appointed Dr. Bhavik Patel, who is a trained radiologist with experience in AI as their first ‘CAIO’. He has since helped to create a new model that looks to improve the speed of diagnosing rare heart diseases by analyzing huge amounts of data from ultrasounds.

"We’re really trying to foster some of these data and AI capabilities throughout every department, every division, every work group,” he said. He also explained that “it helps to have a coordinating function with the depth of expertise.

A New Landscape

The response and the growth in specialized AI jobs have also been seen across many other industries. Equifax, the credit bureau, and law firms such as Eversheds Sutherland have appointed new staff in AI roles, along with the New York Times. In fact, 400 different federal departments have also started looking for staff in this position to comply with a government safeguarding order. 

122 people with the title of chief or vice president of AI joined a forum on the review site Glassdoor in the last year, up from only 19 in 2022. This huge jump shows how companies are keen to make the most of this new technology but also look to navigate through the risks and negatives that can come from it.

Dr Svetlana Bender was appointed the VP of AI and Behavioural Science at insurance company Florida Blue to help pilot a chatbot to analyze customer data. She has also recently hired an AI executive.

Another consulting firm, Accenture, added a chief AI officer, promoting Lan Guan to the role. The company is also moving into the area more seriously, focusing on creating AI tools for the insurance industry and its own insurance products.

Back in September, Western University appointed Mark Daley as its first-ever Chief AI Officer, and his role continues to look at the morality of AI as well as how the university can use the technology.

I feel a moral imperative as an educator to help them to understand what ethical uses [of AI] are, and it’s going to be co-discovery,” said Daley.

Further growth in AI jobs is almost inevitable as companies look to stay abreast of the latest developments and ensure they aren’t missing out on innovations in their sector in the coming months and years.