RIL hosts roundtable discussion with leading venture capitalists and U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo

The Roundtable was hosted as part of our launch of the Responsible AI Commitments and Protocol for early stage companies and their investors.
Responsible Innovation Labs
November 21, 2023

If there is a better way, we find it. That is the hallmark of innovation. 

On November 14, Responsible Innovation Labs (RIL) announced the first industry-driven voluntary Responsible AI Commitments and Protocol for startups and their investors. Already, 50+ VCs have stepped forward to lead. And they are joined by startups, LPs, and others who continue to sign on.

We designed our Responsible AI Commitments and Protocol to serve as a flexible framework that distills best practices, tools, and resources into 5 actionable steps. Founders and operators can implement the Commitments and Protocol based on their resource constraints, business and product needs, and maturity as an enterprise.

Enduring scale flows from trust. To build products that delight customers – and earn their trust – requires responsible product development, management, and governance norms. 

“We believe this framework promotes deployment and innovation, will help drive customer adoption, and provides a starting point for action precisely because it emphasizes building trust,” said Gaurab Bansal. ”To support a thriving startup ecosystem, we have to lead proactively in collaboration across sectors.”

As part of the launch of these new resources, RIL hosted a roundtable with leading venture capitalists and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to discuss the importance of positive competition and sustainable growth among startups. Investors shared how the Commitments and Protocol foster trust in AI to drive innovation and dynamism in the tech sector, and Secretary Raimondo expressed her support. 

Secretary Raimondo said, "We’re still in the early innings of AI. We all have to hold ourselves to account to make sure that the way AI is developing is safe, trustworthy, secure, non-discriminatory, ethical, and humane.”

The following were some takeaways from the discussion:

  • There is more utility in policy focused at the application layers vs. model layers 
  • It’s essential that feedback cycles between government and industry include early stage companies to bolster industry competition and protect consumers
  • Building trust between enterprise customers and AI startups is key for adoption and longevity
  • It’s necessary to vet who is using new AI services and how to maximize the positive opportunity of new technologies

It will be complex—but imperative—to get this right. RIL is working with startups who have raised their hand to implement and integrate this work into their product and business development. We look forward to working with signatories and our partners to iterate on, and improve, our resources. 

Ultimately, we fight for responsible AI because we believe it will create value not only for startups and investors but also for the customers and stakeholders impacted along the way.

If you haven’t already, sign the Responsible AI Commitments and learn more about our work:

Coverage from the roundtable event can be read here:

Bloomberg: Top VC Firms Sign Voluntary Commitments for Startups to Build AI Responsibly

Inc. Magazine: 5 steps your business can take to build a responsible AI program 

Axios Pro: Commerce boosts new effort on responsible AI for startups