Navigating the AI Revolution: The Rise of the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

Ashley Bruggemann
Mar 06, 2024 / 4 min read

It seems like every few years, there is a “hot new role” that companies are hiring for. Three years ago, the Chief Diversity Officer was the buzziest executive position out there. Over the last few months, the c-suite level position that has taken the crown is the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO). According to new research from Foundry, 11 percent of midsize to large organizations have already designated a CAIO, and another 21 percent of organizations are actively seeking one.

The change comes as artificial intelligence (AI) is quite literally popping up in everything we do – from our personal tech usage to how we do our jobs. As companies are grappling with how to incorporate AI into their work – or not – many are turning to newly minted Chief AI Officers to help figure it out. So, what is a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer? What do they do – or better yet, what should they do?

What they are … and what they are not

Simply put, the role of the CAIO within organizations (and now within the government thanks to the White House’s October 2023 executive order) is responsible for setting the overall AI strategy for the organization. This includes developing and implementing AI technologies, tools, and policies tools at the enterprise level to improve internal and external business outputs. Not only do these individuals need to understand the technology that they are deploying, but they need to understand the business that they are operating in. Beyond that, they also should have an understanding of the latest regulatory developments as it pertains to AI, such as the EU Artificial Intelligence Act. The CAIO also needs to be someone with leadership skills to implement these strategic initiatives and get the necessary buy-in. Importantly, they are not merely an extension of the IT department. Nor is this a function that can just be added to existing roles in the company. It is, admittedly, a position that requires an individual with a unique resume.

Benefits and challenges of the CAIO

Defining the role and hiring the best candidate is only a first step for organizations establishing the CAIO position. Organizations need to think through where the position fits into the overall structure of the organization and how it will interact with other departments and divisions. Their role is important in ensuring that AI initiatives are set up to respond and adapt to rapid changes in governance, privacy and security regulations, and ethical considerations. The CAIO is crucial in organizations that are looking to integrate AI at an enterprise level. The role provides a central point of responsibility for AI initiatives and for unlocking successful AI adoption and implementation. While AI is not – and should not be – the responsibility of one role in an organization, having a centralized position to connect the dots of various departments and see the full landscape of AI at the organization is a benefit in the long run.

Food for thought

Just because it’s the “hot new role” though, and just because there are definite benefits to it, doesn’t mean that every organization needs a CAIO. Again, the organization needs to think where the position fits in the structure and what the mission of the role will be in their individual organization’s case. The role could look different to each company as well. For example, APCO, Trilligent’s parent company, runs an AI Comms Lab that establishes AI policy for the organization as well as develops proprietary AI tools. Trilligent partners with the AI Comms Lab to implement these AI tools internally as well as for our clients. While there is an individual who runs this lab, they don’t have the CAIO title – this was how APCO implemented the function before the title itself became popular.

If you are thinking about a CAIO role for your organization, or already have one and want to better understand the latest AI-related regulatory landscape, Trilligent is a global advisory and strategic communications firm that specializes in assisting disruptive tech companies in navigating the complex international regulatory environment. From making your voice heard with the political stakeholders shaping new regulations to building campaigns that target users across platforms, we can help communicate your commitment to upholding trust and safety and building enduring and profitable brand reputation across markets. For more information on Trilligent, visit or get in touch at‍


Regulating Artificial Intelligence in the EU and US
Alex Wagner
May 23, 2023 / 5 min read