New DMA Scotland chief puts ethical AI at top of agenda

Anneli Ritari-Stewart HeadshotThe DMA UK is overhauling its presence in Scotland in support of the country’s AI strategy, underpinned by the appointment of a new chair of its organisation north of the border, who has set out her vision for championing the responsible and ethical use of AI to drive growth and innovation.

Anneli Ritari-Stewart, who is also Royal London head of digital marketing, insists marketers can harness AI as a “superpower”. However, she has warned that a trustworthy and customer-centric approach must be adhered to in order for businesses and their customers to see the true benefits, as the culture around the technology continues to change “at an electric pace”.

Ritari-Stewart, is who also part of Royal London’s AI Working Group and is scaling the use of generative AI ethically, held a position on the DMA council for four years before becoming deputy chair of DMA Scotland in 2022.

During this time, she has been actively working with the DMA’s Scottish members and fuelling regional industry growth.

Taking over from existing chair Howard Barber, Ritari-Stewart will assume the position this week and begin delivering on her vision to equip professional marketers with the knowledge and confidence to adopt emerging technologies, in particular encouraging curiosity around AI and its effective application.

The DMA has long been committed to championing marketing best practices and professionalising the industry, at a time when the measurement and business value of marketing is scrutinised at board level more fiercely than ever.

Ritari-Stewart’s appointment closely follows the DMA’s appointment of former Disney executive Tony Miller as its new UK chair in March.

Ritari-Stewart said: “Scotland represents a truly unique and exciting opportunity to drive the ethical use of AI forward. I believe marketers can harness the technology as a superpower – but stakeholder trust, customer-centric approaches, and regulatory collaboration must be achieved.

“The culture around AI is changing at an electric pace; we need to encourage curiosity, winning the hearts and minds of the professionals who will use AI and the customers who stand to benefit. I’m thrilled to lead the DMA’s charge in Scotland at a crucial time for shaping the future of technology and data-driven marketing. The winds of change are fast moving, and together we can steer the ship in the right direction.”

DMA managing director Rachel Aldighieri added: “With Anneli’s appointment, the DMA is refocusing its presence in Scotland at a time of transformation and opportunity.

“Anneli has experience of pioneering the use of generative AI within a large-scale enterprise and managing multiple stakeholder visions for the future. Her expertise and enthusiasm for the creative, innovative and ethical application of AI will bring together industry, academia and the government to ensure that AI empowers marketers, truly acting as a force for good for businesses and society and accelerating growth within the Scottish economy.

“With its clear and deliberated AI strategy and ambition to be the data capital of Europe, Scotland has the opportunity to become a global forerunner for the way AI is successfully and responsibly applied.”

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