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Everyone has a chief AI officer now

A silhouette of a human face against a background of binary code.

A silhouette of a human face against a background of binary code.

Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Reuters

It seems like every company worth its salt has a Chief AI Officer, aka CAIO, these days – or, at least, every company that wants to buy into the hype.

The Financial Times reports that these positions aren’t just for tech-related companies but any firm looking to integrate artificial intelligence into its work. And over the past five years, the number of companies with a top AI official has tripled, according to LinkedIn’s best count. Some see their role as an AI evangelist, while others are more integrated with ethics, risk, compliance, and legal practices of their businesses.

The corporate model is salient, too, because the Biden administration recently announced that just about every federal agency and department needs to appoint a CAIO charged with implementing the new standards set by the White House Office of Management and Budget. That’s right, there will soon be AI czars across private industry and the entire US government.

While many employees are naturally concerned about AI taking their jobs, many are also starting to use ChatGPT (even covertly) and other applications in their jobs. In other words, everyone’s still tinkering — employees, managers, executives, and government officials.


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