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From ethical principles to practical implementation: Exploring the challenges of consulting in the implementation of responsible AI (RAI)


We aim to foster the adoption of AI by Swiss organizations through a two-phase project:

–       Phase 1: In the Swiss economy landscape, we aim to clarify the challenges organizations – and their consulting partners – face in implementing responsible AI (RAI) such as how to measure the ethical risks of an AI tool or attribute responsibility for the negative effects of third-party AI tools that are used in a company.

–       Phase 2: We aim to co-develop, in partnership with consultancies and or client organizations, a set of tools addressing the needs of Swiss companies and tailored to their specificities (e.g., sector, industry).

Partners needed:

From industry and the public. Specifically, we are looking for organizations to work with us in shaping a workshop entitled “Consulting in RAI: how to narrow the RAI implementation gap”. (Phase 1)


The adoption of AI entails ethical issues, such as fairness and transparency, which, in turn, manifest into significant strategic, operational, and compliance risks. These include challenges in justifying decision-making processes, possible consumer backlash, and legal liabilities. These risks are pervasive but often manifest in unexpected ways. Accordingly, organizations struggle to, first, develop tools and practices that can be used to limit the ethical risks of AI and, second, to attribute responsibility for the negative effects brought about by the use of AI. For these reasons, there is growing demand for consulting services in RAI. Yet, when providing RAI services, consultancies face difficulties in translating ethical AI principles into practical recommendations for the specific needs of their client organizations and the specificities of the Swiss business context. Our project will help in addressing these issues.

Detailed project description:

In phase 1, we seek to identify and explore the current RAI needs and challenges that consultancies and client organizations face. We are looking for companies interested in participating with us in the shaping of the workshop “Consulting in RAI: how to narrow the RAI implementation gap”. To fund this event, we aim to apply to the Innovation Booster Databooster – Shaping Workshop. Participants from both consultancies and organizations in need of RAI consulting will have the opportunity to share experiences, talk about their challenges, and draft initial solutions to the most pressing ones. The specific list of workshop topics to be discussed will be refined on the basis of the input of participating organizations, but might include topics such as the impact of AI opacity on decision making, the emergence of new roles (e.g., Chief Ethics Officer), the formation of RAI councils, stakeholder engagement on ethical expectations, and the challenges associated with using externally developed AI tools. The outcome of this phase will be a report on the main results of the workshop, namely the challenges in RAI of the organizations that participated in the workshop and possible directions to address them.

In phase 2, building on the insights and outcomes of the workshop, we will partner with consultancies and/or client organizations to develop a set of tools that can help organisations and consultancies in addressing RAI issues and adapt to the characteristics of the organization. The offering will include, among others, training material to improve staff’s RAI literacy, a toolkit (e.g., checklists, frameworks and best practices) for assessing and managing a company’s ethical risks in RAI, and supporting tools for designing RAI policies. It will be elaborated after the workshop and on the basis of the organizations that will apply with us to Innosuisse.


If you are interested in participating, please reply by May 31, 2024.

If you are interested and want to contribute with your organization, send us the feedback form attached to until May 31, 2024, stating

  • What is the competency that you could bring in?
  • Do you have specific experience that might be relevant in the project context?
  • What is the contribution to the project goals that you want to bring in?

The next steps will be:

  • Based on your proposed contributions, the call owner will decide about the partners to continue on shaping the idea.
  • Afterward: an additional workshop or/and definition of the concrete implementation plan.

The rules of the game: Decisions on whom to invite for the first meeting, and whom to select for the workshops and final innovation team will be made by the company, based on the provided information.

The goal is to set up an optimal innovation team for reaching the goals, not to create a team with as many partners as possible.