Using a culture and values approach to AI

We have framed our challenge in the context of IKEA culture and values, encouraging proposals that seek to explore the interplay between culture and values and how different behaviours and structures may encourage (or discourage) the implementation of responsible AI practices.

At IKEA we have a strong set of values. They are the compass that guides us in everything we do. Our culture is formed when we put these values into action. As we grow and develop our business, we enrich our culture and encounter new dilemmas at the same time.

Though our values remain constant, they express themselves in different ways when we introduce new technologies such as AI. In this context, we ask applicants to respond to these two challenge questions:

How can organisations like IKEA foster individuals’ behaviours and collective structures to support a culture and values approach to responsible AI implementation? This can be related to processes such as impact assessments or auditing, people such as skills requirements of data scientists or the role of a digital ethicist, and/or technology such as GRC platforms or technical toolkits. (challenge-code IKEA-C1)

AI systems may not only be developed internally, but also purchased from suppliers or adopted from open-source. How can IKEA work to ensure that external AI technologies live up to our culture and values? (challenge-code IKEA-C2)

Additional Context

The IKEA Brand is founded on a shared vision, to create a better everyday life for people. We are constantly trying to find better ways to get things done and to bring out the best in ourselves and others. Digital ethics is an important enabler for this journey. It will ensure that we continue to do the right thing for people, planet and society as we find new and better ways with data and digital technologies. At Inter IKEA Group, we aspire to create a better digital society for everyone, where AI solutions and technologies are used for the benefit of people.

We promote a fair and people-first approach to our digital touch points and data-driven processes where we ensure equality, diversity and inclusion. We also welcome the ambition to foster developments of trustworthy, human-centric and responsible AI and look to design, develop and deploy AI systems that are based on digital ethics principles. In the digital ethics team, we are looking for new ways to identify, develop and implement responsible AI best practices. BRAID fellowships at Inter IKEA are an opportunity to apply/develop/advance knowledge of key issues and challenges in relation to a real-world organisational context.

We invite research proposals that

  • align with Inter IKEA Group’s approach to responsible AI frameworks, processes and practices as set out in our recent position statement on the EU AI Act;
  • draw on arts and humanities scholarship that can inform responsible AI practice in a corporate setting;
  • call for regular contact and engagement with Inter IKEA;
  • promote ongoing knowledge exchange and include practical solutions that are usable by industry to evaluate existing practices and recommend future development (such as whitepapers and presentations) alongside any research papers; and
  • benefit from a flexible and collaborative approach.

Please note that previous experience working in a large corporate environment or Business Administration is desirable for this challenge.

Working Arrangements

As a BRAID fellow you will be hosted by the Digital Ethics team at Inter IKEA Group, who are a multi-disciplinary team that advises on how to incorporate values-based decision making to our activities with data and digital technologies. You will be encouraged to work closely with other parts of the data and technology teams and the wider organisation.

How it will work

  • If the application is successful, Inter IKEA will work with the fellow to refine the project plan and agree on shared goals and outcomes.
  • Inter IKEA will support the fellow in terms of onboarding, providing a research contact and engaging in regular meetings, and providing office space for the fellow to work from as required.
  • Inter IKEA is set up for hybrid working; the office locations are in Delft, Netherlands and Malmö, Sweden.
  • We encourage the fellow to visit an Inter IKEA office location at least once every 6 months and ask that the fellow factor into their budget proposal travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and any specific research costs they envision.
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