IBM, Delta Air Lines, WPP, 4A’s, IAB, Ad Council And Other Industry Leaders Act To Mitigate Bias In Advertising Technology

CANNES, FranceJune 20, 2022 — Today, leading companies committed to improving fairness in marketing campaigns. The initiative, announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022, brought together agencies, brands, and other leaders to generate awareness and take action towards mitigating bias in advertising technology. Committing organizations include IBM, Delta Air Lines, WPP, Mindshare, 4A’s, IAB and the Ad Council.

The action is the most recent effort by IBM to drive education and awareness around the impact of bias in advertising technology. In 2021, the company launched a research initiative to explore the hypothesis that bias can exist in ad technology, which initial findings confirmed. The research also showed that mitigating bias in ad technology was possible using AI tools and resources in marketing processes. More industry participation and data collection are needed to better understand the potential impact of bias on these campaigns, but several industry leaders are demonstrating early activism by raising awareness and taking action via IBM’s Advertising Fairness Pledge.

“While the risk of bias in advertising is well known, by making this commitment, these organizations are among the first in the industry to take action,” said Bob Lord, IBM Senior Vice President of The Weather Company and Alliances. “Together, we are agreeing to educate ourselves and our companies and ask other industry leaders to join us in helping to mitigate bias in advertising.”

Toward that effort, IBM also announced the release of its gratis Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360, an open-source solution deploying 75 fairness metrics and 13 state-of-the-art algorithms to help identify and mitigate biases in discrete data sets. A playbook and sample code are also made available for ease of use. Organizations utilizing the toolkit may gain a better understanding of the presence and impact of bias on their ad campaigns, as well as the makeup of their audiences.

“Used correctly, data can help brands personalize consumer engagement and identify the most relevant touchpoints. However, we know that bias can exist in algorithms or technology, and that’s why we’re helping our clients to evaluate how and when to use data in a meaningful way that will benefit the customer experience,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP. “Through WPP’s GroupM, we’ve developed the Data Ethics Compass to help clients navigate the challenges of using datasets, while IBM’s new Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360 will help us to better understand the potential impact of bias. Consumers rightly expect brands to use their information in a fair way and for the industry to tackle data bias collectively, which can ultimately result in increased engagement and commercial outcomes.”

Bias is often unintentional, a result of human assumptions and judgments encoded into algorithms that can result in unfair targeting, exclusion of certain groups, and marketing campaign failures. Organizations taking the pledge can contribute data to ongoing studies that seek to better explain the impact of bias. According to Salesforce’s 2022 State of the Connected Customer survey, nearly 62 percent of consumers surveyed reported they are concerned about bias in AI, up from just 54 percent two years prior, emphasizing the imperative for brands and agencies to better understand its impacts.

“As technology and data prevalence accelerates, the risk for bias in advertising compounds. It is our duty to address this head-on,” said Adam Gerhart, Global CEO of Mindshare. “We believe the industry needs to take clear and intentional action, which is why we are committing to leverage the Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360.”

As the advertising industry continues to face issues related to privacy and transparency, many organizations believe that tackling bias in ad tech could be a next key area of focus for marketers. Nearly $1 trillion was spent on digital advertising globally in 2021, much of which flows through programmatic engines that segment and target specific audiences, sometimes missing large consumer groups in the process. With increasing consumer demand for transparency in how their data is used, marketers must look for new ways to remain effective. Tapping into alternative privacy-forward data sources, such as weather data, can be effective predictors of behavior that could also help rebuild trust with consumers.

“As a global brand, we know that every decision we make, whether it’s about a supplier, an employee or an ad campaign, is a reflection of our values and the change we want to see in the world,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s Managing Director of Brand Marketing. “We’ve long been focused on inclusive representation in our campaign creative, this effort allows us to go a step further to bring more inclusive representation to our campaign delivery.”

To download the Advertising Toolkit for AI Fairness 360 and the associated playbook, to take the Advertising Fairness Pledge, and to learn more about how bias in advertising can negatively impact businesses and consumers, visit IBM’s Bias in Advertising microsite.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.

IBM Transforms Business Operations with the RISE with SAP Solution in Expanded Partnership with SAP

ARMONK, N.Y. and WALLDORF, GermanyMay 11, 2022 — IBM and SAP today announced the latest milestone in their long-standing partnership as IBM undertakes one of the world’s largest corporate transformation projects based on SAP® ERP software, designed to fuel the company’s growth and better support its clients.

As part of the expanded partnership, IBM is migrating to SAP S/4HANA®, SAP’s next-generation ERP software, to perform work across more than 120 countries, 1,000 legal entities and numerous IBM businesses supporting software, hardware, consulting and finance. The project is focused on improving business processes with RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, premium supplier option with IBM Consulting, and will ultimately move more than 375 TB of data to IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud. RISE with SAP brings together what businesses need to pursue their digital transformation objectives and accelerate their move to the cloud.

Driven by the need to modernize processes and deliver better insights to support clients running in the cloud, RISE with SAP is helping IBM centralize and standardize data worldwide. With access to the SAP HANA® database, data can be accessed in real time and shared more efficiently among business units and teams. The expanded partnership will also help with improved decision-making supported by AI and automated workflows. Once the transformation is completed, nearly all of IBM’s US$58 billion in revenue will flow through SAP software.

“This expanded partnership will enable IBM to accelerate its business transformation in the cloud and fuel its future growth,” said Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “As a result, IBM will be positioned to provide the highest value of support and flexibility to its clients, allowing them to simplify and accelerate their business transformations while benefitting from the full value of RISE with SAP.”

This business transformation will eventually move more than 300 SAP instances and consolidate 500 servers with the RISE with SAP solution on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud. The migration to SAP S/4HANA is already in progress across the company’s software business unit. The initial deployment is focused on IBM’s software-as-a-service and billing system and is already benefiting clients and IBM business partners through simplified billing and payment systems while enabling orders and contracts to be processed quickly.

IBM Consulting, with more than 38,000 highly trained SAP consultants, is leading the transformation providing the advisory, implementation, security, industry and technical expertise required to move these complex systems and applications to a digital environment. This is another example of IBM and SAP’s accelerated ecosystem strategy, teaming up on both technology and consulting expertise while supporting most any cloud environment to help make it easier for clients to embrace a hybrid cloud approach and move their mission-critical SAP software workloads to the cloud.

“Enterprise clients are seeking increased choice and control as they modernize their mission-critical workloads. Enabled by RISE with SAP, this is a milestone business transformation initiative for both companies due to its complexity and scale,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With this move, and IBM’s experience using RISE with SAP internally, we will be even better prepared to support our clients on their hybrid cloud and business transformation journeys.”

Expanded Premium Supplier Option for RISE with SAP on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud

To provide clients more flexibility and computing power, including those in highly regulated industries, IBM is making the same cloud-based computing power that is underpinning its own migration available to clients. For clients who run RISE with SAP on IBM Cloud, an expansion of the premium supplier option provides an additional choice to run workloads on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud.

As a premium supplier, IBM was the first cloud provider to offer infrastructure, technical managed services, business transformation and application management services as part of RISE with SAP. With clients increasingly leveraging hybrid cloud strategies to modernize their workloads, IBM and SAP are giving clients running on Power servers the ability to use RISE with SAP S/4HANA on Power infrastructure consistent with the architecture they run on premise. Underpinned exclusively by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, businesses running IBM Power on IBM Cloud will be able to achieve high levels of performance in a cloud environment for their mission-critical workloads, with the flexibility, resiliency and security features delivered by IBM and Red Hat.



Object Management Group® Announces Responsible Computing with Founding Members IBM and Dell

ARMONK, N.Y. – June 2, 2022 – Today Object Management Group® (OMG®) announced Responsible Computing (RC™), a new consortium comprised of technology innovators working together to address sustainable development goals. Responsible computing is a systemic approach aimed at addressing current and future challenges in computing, including sustainability, ethics, and professionalism, stemming from the belief that we need to start thinking about technology in terms of its impact on people and the planet.

“Responsible Computing aims to shift thinking and, ultimately, behavior within the IT industry and affect real change,” said Bill Hoffman, Chairman, and CEO of RC and OMG. “We’ve made our manifesto and framework freely available, and we’ve asked every RC member to implement RC principles. Our goal is that someday every IT professional will adhere to RC principles.”

The new consortium’s manifesto defines RC values to restore trust in IT by responsibly applying technology and by sharing experiences with other organizations. These values include sustainability, inclusiveness, circularity, openness, authenticity, and accountability.

The consortium’s RC framework focuses on six domains of responsible computing, including:

  • Data centers – are designed and operated with a focus on efficiency and sustainability, including emphasizing green energy and improving the handling and disposal of chemicals, toxic materials, and rare metals.
  • More sustainable infrastructure – monitoring the energy usage of products and technologies. Efficient and more sustainable operations, including proper disposal of products.​
  • Code – choosing code that optimizes environmental, social, and economic impact over time. Optimal code includes efficient algorithms, frameworks, and tools and KPIs to accelerate decision-making and pinpoint areas requiring more scrutiny during software development.
  • Data usage – the safe use of data will drive transparency, fairness, privacy, and respect for users.
  • Systems – that address bias and discrimination by driving equality for all, for example, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for transparency.​
  • Impact – the technologies and innovations that drive a positive impact on society at large such as building to improve human conditions and mitigate social risk.

Through interviews with over 100 CTOs concerns were raised around developing practical actions to progress Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs. They wanted to contribute to becoming more sustainable businesses and demonstrate progress through consistent metrics. In November 2020, IBM’s Academy of Technology (AoT)’s responded to these challenges and created the Responsible Computing Council, an international team of technology and computing leaders who collaborate in validation and the implementation of the RC framework and lead by example in becoming a responsible computing provider. Object Management Group (OMG) was an early member of the council, and shortly after that, the OMG board approved the formation of the RC consortium.

“Now is the time for companies to adopt a holistic approach that places sustainability strategy at the center of their business,” said Sheri Hinish, Global Lead, IBM Consulting Sustainability Services. “Under IBM Impact, our new ESG Strategy, we are working to make a lasting, positive Impact in the communities in which we work and live. IBM is proud to be a founding member of the RC consortium and through this collaboration we hope to help companies establish new and innovative ways to transform their business operations through ethical, impactful ways that can help contribute to a more sustainable future. ”

“Dell is proud to be a founding member of the RC consortium. We are aligned with and driven by a similar passion to help leading technology organizations realize their sustainable development goals, in line with the planet’s,” said Marc O’Regan, CTO EMEA, Dell Technologies. “In addition to being socially and environmentally responsible, we also expect that RC members will see improved go-to-market solutions, strategies and bottom-line results by following RC principles.”

An organization can become more operationally efficient and demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) when meeting sustainability goals. The ROI can potentially include:​

  • Reduced power consumption​
  • Waste reduction for packaging​
  • Cost-effective heating and cooling solutions​
  • Supply chain efficiency, and more

“As a college with almost 16,000 students and top-10 undergraduate and top-4 graduate program in the U.S., Purdue Engineering is excited to work with Dell, IBM, and other industry leaders in this new consortium of responsible computing,” said Mung Chiang, Executive Vice President and Dean of College of Engineering at Purdue University. “We particularly look forward to advancing technologies for user security, data privacy, freedom-preserving AI, and computing innovations that propel economic growth throughout society.”

“Technology plays an ever-increasing role across all industries and can unlock many benefits in terms of efficiency, sustainability, and wider society. But we need to be careful about deploying technology to make sure that we harvest the benefits without exposing ourselves to unintended consequences,” said Jim Morrish, Founding Partner, Transforma Insights. “AI deployed to support building automation can unlock significant energy savings, to name one example, but we need to ensure this isn’t at the cost of individual privacy. Transforma Insights looks forward to working with the wider technology ecosystem to ensure society gains the maximum benefit from new and emerging technologies.”

Rob Deri, Chief Executive at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said, “BCS became a groundbreaking member of Responsible Computing because our membership community shares the belief that technology can and must drive positive change in society. We are proud to be part of an international coalition that prioritizes the role of IT in understanding and reducing climate change, closing the digital divide, promoting equality of opportunity and growing public trust in tech through global professional standards.”

“Changing how we manage Information and technology infrastructures is crucial to reducing carbon emissions and securing climate justice,” said Professor Jamie Cross, Director of the Edinburgh Earth Initiative, University of Edinburgh. “The University of Edinburgh, the UK’s nationally leading centre for supercomputing and globally-leading hub for data-driven innovations, artificial intelligence and data science, is delighted to join this global initiative to promote responsible computing. We are excited to work together across the Responsible Computing consortium to deliver transformational positive change that can only be achieved through novel technologies, approaches, and alliances.”

RC spans a broad cross-section of industries, including consumer, financial services, travel & transport, insurance, government, energy, environment & utilities, telco & media, and industrial verticals.

SL Green Adopts IBM Technology to Operationalize Sustainability Initiatives Across Extensive NYC Real Estate Portfolio

ARMONK, N.Y and NEW YORKJune 2, 2022  — Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) and SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG), Manhattan’s largest office landlord, announced that SL Green is leveraging IBM sustainability software to help advance their company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. SL Green will use software from Envizi, an IBM Company, to better understand and report on its environmental initiatives, identify opportunities for greater efficiency and further drive sustainability across its extensive real estate operations.

As the largest owner of office real estate in New York CitySL Green is focused on effectively managing its portfolio of Manhattan commercial properties, with interest in more than 70 buildings totaling 34.9 million square feet. In the face of climate change and quickly evolving societal challenges, SL Green is committed to a broad set of sustainability initiatives and goals – from environmental efforts such as optimizing energy, water and waste management, to sustainable development of new properties, and programs to benefit the health and safety of both tenants and the local community. In 2021, SL Green aligned with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Net Zero by 2050 goal of carbon neutral building operations and remains committed to setting a Science-Based Target for greenhouse gas emissions.

Having access to the right data is crucial for many organizations to make meaningful progress toward their sustainability goals but this data is often highly fragmented across various formats and locations, making it difficult for all relevant parties to leverage. In a recent IBM study, 44% of surveyed CEOs cited “lack of insights from data” as a leading challenge to achieving their sustainability objectives.1 In January, IBM acquired Envizi to offer organizations technology to help streamline and automate their collection, analysis and reporting of ESG data, with simplified dashboards and visualizations that can make these insights more accessible to stakeholders of all types.

“As the largest owner of office real estate in New York, we have been pioneers in ESG, taking action to support the City’s vital sustainability initiatives,” said Laura Vulaj, Senior Vice President & Director of Sustainability at SL Green. “Being committed to making data-driven decisions has been a crucial differentiator for us, and Envizi’s advanced technology can enable us to further streamline these initiatives in a transparent and measurable way for our stakeholders.”

Working with IBM, SL Green will use Envizi software as a service (SaaS) to help manage and accelerate sustainability initiatives across its portfolio. For example:

  • Create a single system of record for sustainability and ESG data: Envizi can help SL Green streamline the collection of data from a wide range of sources such as utility data, renewable energy certificates, waste data, business travel, purchased goods and services, in order to provide all stakeholders with consistent data for reporting, analysis and decision making – for example, to support Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emission calculations.
  • Analyze data to inform sustainability decision-making: SL Green can apply Envizi’s advanced analytics to transform this data into insights on the performance of its portfolio, which can help drive better decisions and meet sustainability goals. For example, Envizi could help SL Green calculate greenhouse gas emissions, set decarbonization targets and track progress towards its emissions reduction goals.
  • Streamline ESG and sustainability reporting: SL Green is committed to transparent ESG disclosures and reports its performance under a wide variety of ESG reporting frameworks including CDP, SASB, TCFD, GRI, CSA (DJSI) and SBTi. Envizi’s ESG reporting capabilities can make it easier for SL Green to streamline these reporting processes, with all reporting questions and responses managed within a single software interface.

“The ability to transform widespread operational and environmental data into insights that business leaders and stakeholders can understand is a foundational step towards making sustainability initiatives effective and scalable,” said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D., General Manager, IBM Sustainability Software. “By taking a 360-degree approach, supported by connections between data, technologies and processes, companies can operationalize sustainability initiatives across their organization.”

This collaboration between IBM and SL Green comes on the heels of the recent announcement that IBM has signed on as an anchor tenant for One Madison Avenue, SL Green’s 1.4 million square foot, state-of-the-art redevelopment scheduled for completion in November 2023.