Maria Lucian Axente is an international authority on ethical AI, currently serving as the Responsible AI & AI for Good Lead at PwC. Playing an integral role in the establishment of PwC’s UK AI Center for Excellence, she is responsible for the firm’s AI strategy and is the mastermind behind PwC’s Responsible AI toolkit and methodology for embedding ethics in AI. With such distinguished credentials, Maria is a leading advisor to governments, policymakers, regulators and research institutions on AI public policy. Outspoken about responsible AI practice, Maria is a highly sought-after speaker, eloquently covering topics such as inclusive AI, ethics of the metaverse, future trends in AI and digital ethics, and compliance-driven agile AI-powered organisations.
Prior to earning an MBA in Strategy, Corporate Governance and Ethics at the University of Westminster, Maria worked as a Managing Director at the Telecom Retail Division of DIVERTA. She joined John Bell & Croyden as a Digital Transformation Consultant during her studies, alongside serving as an Advisory Board Member at the Association of MBAs. Maria then became a Digital Consultant at Euromoney Institutional Investor before joining Cognizant as Digital Transformation Lead. In 2018, she became a Fellow at the RSA and, in the following year, undertook an Artificial Intelligence Programme at the University of Oxford.
In 2020, Maria joined ORBITRRI as a Member of the Board of Advisors before joining the PHI Institute for Augmented Intelligence as an Advisor in 2021, where she was involved in AI strategy, ethics, policy and governance. As a thought leader on responsible AI, Maria was invited to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence as an Advisory Board Member for UK Parliament. She is also a member of the BSI/ISO and IEEE standards group and the Vice Chair of the Tech UK Data and AI Leadership Committee. Moreover, Maria is an advocate for gender diversity in AI and a member of the UNICEF #AI4Children Advisory Board and the World Economic Forum Generation AI programmes.
As an internationally recognised thought leader on ethical AI, Maria has been named TechWomen100, 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics, ComputerWeekly Most Influential Women in Technology and Cogx Outstanding Achievements in Ethical AI. In 2023, she was included on LinkedIn’s Top Voices in AI for her contributions to ethical best practices and professional standards in responsible AI. A preeminent expert on ethical AI, Maria is a prominent public policy contributor and one of the key figures shaping the industry for the betterment of society. Now a highly prized, responsible AI speaker, Maria teaches audiences how to harness the power of AI ethically and responsibly and is regularly hired by organisations seeking to deploy AI and data using the highest industry standards.