DataRobot’s Global AI Ethicist Haniyeh Mahmoudian, Ph.D

DataRobot’s Global AI Ethicist Haniyeh Mahmoudian, Ph.D


Joining How AI Happens today is Dr. Haniyeh Mahmoudian, Global AI Ethicist at DataRobot. Dr. Mahmoudian specializes in providing technical and educational guidance on the development of responsible AI. She holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Bonn University, and was named an AI Ethics leader by Forbes. She is also a member of the National AI Advisory committee (NAIAC) that guides the President on ethical AI development and use.


In our conversation, we learn about her professional journey and how this led to her working at DataRobot, what she realized was missing from the DataRobot platform, and what she did to fill the gap.

We discuss the importance of bias in AI models, approaches to mitigate models against bias, and why incorporating ethics into AI development is essential. We also delve into the different perspectives of ethical AI, the elements of trust, what ethical “guard rails” are, and the governance side of AI.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Dr. Mahmoudian shares her professional background and her interest in AI.
  • How Dr. Mahmoudian became interested in AI ethics and building trustworthy AI.
  • What she hopes to achieve with her work and research.
  • Hear practical examples of how to build ethical and trustworthy AI.
  • We unpack the ethical and trustworthy aspects of AI development.
  • What the elements of trust are and how to implement them into a system.
  • An overview of the different essential processes that must be included in a model.
  • How to mitigate systems from bias and the role of monitoring.
  • Why continual improvement is key to ethical AI development.
  • Find out more about DataRobot and Dr. Mahmoudian’s multiple roles at the company.
  • She explains her approach to working with customers.
  • Discover simple steps to begin practicing responsible AI development.


“When we talk about ‘guard rails’ sometimes you can think of the best practice type of ‘guard rails’ in data science but we should also expand it to the governance and ethics side of it.” — @HaniyehMah [0:11:03]

“Ethics should be included as part of [trust] to truly be able to think about trusting a system.” — @HaniyehMah [0:13:15]

“[I think of] ethics as a sub-category but in a broader term of trust within a system.” — @HaniyehMah [0:14:32]

“So depending on the [user] persona, we would need to think about what kind of [system] features we would have .” — @HaniyehMah [0:17:25]

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