Sarah Bird   

Global Lead for Responsible AI Engineering

Responsible AI innovation requires three pillars — forward-looking innovation, clear governance, and of course, the technology must work in practice.   

That’s where engineering comes in. Sarah Bird leads Microsoft’s responsible AI engineering effort, working to accelerate the adoption and positive impact of AI by bringing together the latest innovations in research, product and policy. She helps to create and apply responsible AI principles, standards and tools across the company, and has led the cross-company group of experts to build Microsoft Copilot and Github Copilot, among other key Microsoft products. 

Bird has been in the field of responsible AI since its inception. She is one of the founding researchers of the first responsible AI group at Microsoft, an active member of the Microsoft AETHER committee and contributed to the creation of the Microsoft Responsible AI Standard. 

She received her Ph.D. in computer science from Berkeley, where her advisor was Turing Award winner Dave Patterson. Before joining Microsoft, Sarah was also a founding member of the AI ethics group at Facebook.  

She is also the New York site lead for engineering and research at Microsoft and is passionate about New York as a place for technology development and innovation. Bird’s team is lighting the way in terms of what’s possible in responsible AI, showing real examples of AI that works safely and responsibly that are moving the field forward.  

Bird was first introduced to engineering when two women engineers came to speak to her fourth-grade class. Seeing how that one small experience may have changed the trajectory of her life has made Bird passionate about mentorship and encouraging more women to get into the field of Responsible AI.  

Bird’s passion for responsible AI is driven by her belief in the potential of AI and her recognition that we cannot realize its full potential unless we are able to have AI that is safe, responsible, fair and robust. This is the driving force behind her work. 

“I’m so excited about the future and how AI can change the world. But the responsible AI part is critical. I see this as essential work in making AI a reality, and for me, this is really a labor of love.”  

Top topics:  

  • How AI works and how AI reasons over data  
  • Common concerns, fears and misconceptions around AI  
  • Examples of how responsible AI is addressed at the product level  
  • How the AI industry has evolved over the last few years, especially for women 

Learn more about Sarah Bird: