Josephine V Yam: More Than An AI Legal Expert

Small Business Canada

Josephine Victoria Yam is an AI Lawyer and AI Ethicist specializing in equity, diversity, and inclusion and advocates for climate change. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skills4Good. Her work promotes fairness, accountability, and sustainability in this AI-driven society.

A Persistent Learner 

A Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program alumnus, Yam completed her Master of Laws degree at the University of Calgary. In addition, she pursued an advanced legal education at Harvard Law School and the University of Toronto. 

She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor. In April 2021, she completed her Master of Arts in Philosophy degree specializing in AI Ethics at the University of Guelph.

She received the University of British Columbia’s Award of Achievement in Diversity & Inclusion and has been admitted to practice law in New York (USA), Alberta (Canada), Ontario (Canada) and the Philippines. 

Yam has diverse work experience in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors domestically and abroad. She has also developed the knowledge and skills necessary to harness the collective power of purpose to build the world we want.

As a visible minority and immigrant woman, Josephine Yam wants to use her AI law and ethics expertise to promote equity, fairness, and social justice in developing a sustainable, human-centred world.

  • AI Law and AI Ethics

Josephine Yam acknowledges that AI is humanity’s Fourth Industrial Revolution and that the pandemic has caused a rapid acceleration of digital transformation in Canada. In such a circumstance, she advocates for human rights by design and algorithmic accountability.

She is an AI Lawyer and Ethicist who leverages her dual expertise to help companies deploy AI and Big Data for good through Skills4Good’s Upskilling Talent and AI and Data Audits programs. 

  • Human Rights and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Although there have been significant steps for human rights protection, the COVID pandemic, the AI revolution, the #BlackLivesMatter, and #MeToo movements have brought to light the existing social inequalities and structural discrimination that violate human rights.

Yam uses her expertise as a Human Rights and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist to help companies develop empathetic leaders and responsible AI through Skills4Good’s Upskilling Talent and AI & Data Audits programs. She believes that using a Human Rights By Design perspective, AI should uphold and not violate people’s rights to privacy, equality, and non-discrimination.

  • Climate Change and Environment

When climate change is a global catastrophe that has widened socioeconomic gaps, Canada may take the lead in developing renewable energy while keeping its climate commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Yam uses her experience as a Climate Change and Environmental Law specialist to make sure that Canadian laws support social justice while enabling sustainable clean energy development.

The Responsible Awardee 

For her initiatives on the legal front, Josephine Yam has been honoured with many awards. She was the recipient of the Covid-19 Research Development and Catalyst Fund Award, Carbon Management Canada Research Funding Award, Canadian Energy Law Foundation Scholarship Award and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship Award. 

She received the Silver Medal for Academic Excellence at the Ateneo De Manila University College of Law. In addition, she was the First Prize Winner of the Canadian Institute of Resource Law’s Natural Resources Law Writing Competition. 

She was exempted from bar examinations and articling for Ontario Bar admission based on exceptional qualifications by the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario). She was also the recipient of the Baker & McKenzie International Clerkship Awardee, the First law student in the Philippines awarded for outstanding academic credentials, strong leadership capabilities and a keen interest in international law.

The Keynote Speaker 

Josephine Yam regularly speaks on panels at conferences and events throughout the world. In addition, she has delivered talks and webinars for illustrious organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the International Women’s Forum Canada and the Conference Board of Canada. Her topics include women’s leadership, good governance, diversity and inclusion, female entrepreneurship and AI ethics.

She conducts workshops and training and has collaborated with companies including Accenture, Shell Canada, Enbridge, Equifax and RBC Royal Bank of Canada. She has also been interviewed by national and international media outlets like CNN, CNBC, Cosmopolitan, and Newsweek. 

Josephine Yam’s initiatives in AI ethics help SMEs achieve sustainable innovation by leveraging data and AI technology as forces for good. To know more about her works, visit her website at

Small businesses should understand the changing trends in digital space and work towards their privacy and protection. For more information, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.

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