Debi Stack, MBA '05

Debi Stack is director of strategy project teams at Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm. Previously, she served as CEO of Anticipatory, an AI research and consulting practice in Dallas. She also served as a consulting partner at IBM Watson, an IBM supercomputer that uses AI for research, discovery and problem solving.

Debi Stack
Debi Stack, Fair and Ethical Algorithms

In her current role, Stack works with data scientists, analysts, user-experience designers and developers to help global media companies embrace new technology that will personalize content and advertising while protecting personal privacy. 

According to Stack, it is important for consumers to remember that all companies collect users’ personal data, including demographics, preferences, behaviors. Even emotions, Stack says. Such mining is not limited to social media companies.

“It is essential for us to create a more wonderful world with fair and ethical algorithms that are used to train artificial intelligence and protect personal privacy,” she says. “I am personally committed to influence and impact these new technologies in a meaningful way. I believe the systems we train today will inform future generations for the next 100 years. 

“As a consumer, I want my life to be made easier with relevant, contextual knowledge and opportunities, including content and advertising, so that I can learn more and make better decisions However, I don’t want unfair bias to affect anyone’s quality of life.”

To that end, Stack says Accenture developed and released an AI fairness tool to assess transparency and ethics for machine learning. Stack and her team are also working with blockchain on privacy protection to empower consumers to control their own data through self-sovereign digital identities. 

“With these new technologies, we will each determine what data is shared, with whom, when, why and for how long,” she says. “I foresee a time in the near future when each of us have our own digital virtual assistant to enforce our individual privacy policy and negotiate to share and monetize our data and our user-generated content.”

Stack says data science opens the potential to create an abundant economy by significantly reducing—and potentially eliminating—production, energy and transportation costs.

“When the marginal cost of goods approaches zero, we can support the basic needs for food, water, shelter, clothing and security of all humans
on our planet,” she says. “We are already beginning to develop applications that support the higher needs on Maslow’s hierarchy: social belonging, esteem, self-actualization and self-transcendence.”

Stack says she sees great value in Baylor students getting a well-rounded education in design, coding, business and data science to make an even greater impact on society.

“Baylor is positioned to capture Christian values and ethics in algorithms that will determine our national and worldwide policies, healthcare, education and wellbeing,” she says. “Students will find new, exciting and lucrative careers with a degree in data science.”