A report from international law firm network Lex Mundi says General Counsel are grappling with how AI technologies are reshaping their companies and the business environment, creating unchartered areas of corporate liability exposure and new regulatory challenges.
The report, Big Data and Big Brother: How General Counsel cope with Artificial Intelligence in an era of economic nationalism, synthesises the annual Lex Mundi Summit in Amsterdam which focused on the challenges that arise from the intersection of AI with economic interventionism.
The report brings together three practical areas where vigilance is needed from General Counsel, as even traditional industries become digital players and business models evolve:
The composition of boards may need to be adjusted to ensure the right mix of expertise, to avoid conflicts of interest, and to comply with the regulation of data. Companies will need to consider having an ethical and governance framework for AI that is cascaded across the business. Never has the “tone from the top” been so important.
Companies may stray into new industries and become subject to unexpected regulation. AI may be used by authorities to surveil companies, industries and markets, creating unprecedented liability. Authorities may expect companies to leverage AI capabilities for compliance monitoring, including third parties, which would render compliance programs built for the “analog-era” inadequate.
The legal function
Members of the in-house team will need to be trained on what to look for and get involved in product development, in order to anticipate new regulatory exposure. The legal department may require specialists in data science. The legal team will lead, or at least be involved in, the development of the company’s legal and ethical framework for AI, including training the business.