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Boards, Investors, & Diversity Champions - Regulating AI

AI & ITS GUARDRAILS

Since the much publicised launch of ChatGPT , there has been great enthusiasm about what AI can achieve. But profound concerns are also being expressed about what is being unleashed, including the potentially existential implications of a learning capability that is radically different and exponentially faster than that of the human race. The imperative of guardrails and governance for AI has become all the more urgent with rapidly increasing computational power. Indeed, we may have but a narrow window of opportunity. While many feel a lack of agency, we all have a stake in the future.

Even a brush with AI suggests the benefits it could bring for business and society including: greatly expediting routine tasks; massively increasing productivity; and perhaps most importantly tackling seemingly intractable challenges such as disease and climate change.


There is, however, an increasing crescendo of voices flagging the risks. These include the late Professor Stephen Hawking, Yuval Noah Harari and Elon Musk, who have all argued that research should be put on pause, although confusingly the latter has recently indicated that he is also ramping up AI efforts. Still more alarmingly the so-called godfather of AI has expressed his concerns about the associated risks and is using his retirement to speak freely about the dangers of AI.


While the leading technology companies are public about the ethical boundaries they are observing, this does not allay concerns. It is evident that governments and regulators are struggling to keep pace with the extraordinary innovation that we are witnessing.


In this Overture, however, Fidelio argues that there are three groups who have a major interest in the implications of AI – Corporate Boards, Investors and Diversity Champions. All three groups have a voice and also a narrow window of opportunity to use that voice to influence the regulation of AI.


WHO HAS A VOICE - THE FUTURE OF AI

1. CORPORATE BOARDS

The Board has a duty to promote the sustainable success of the company. For all companies in all sectors AI will be an important and maybe a key determinant of sustainable success. The difficulty of providing AI oversight is not disputed. The tools which effective Boards draw upon today will be of support including:

  1. Composition - ensuring the Board skill matrix includes the experience and expertise necessary to provide rigorous questioning and challenge around AI.

  2. Evaluation- reviewing the Board's effectiveness, including its ability to provide meaningful oversight and challenge of the company's use of AI.

  3. Development - providing regular development for Board Members to rapidly evolve their capability to question and challenge so that corporate guardrails can be established in the use of AI.

2. INVESTORS

Clearly AI is a huge investment opportunity, but it is also potentially capable of great harms – as we have seen with a number of other sectors. We would argue that any investment house purporting to be ESG aligned should be thinking very carefully about AI.


3. DIVERSITY CHAMPIONS

As guardrails are being established for AI, diversity champions need to ensure that they have a seat at the table. This is far too important to leave in the hands of one group in society.


To continue reading Fidelio's Overture 'Boards, Investors & Diversity Champions - Regulating AI', click here to continue reading:

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Gillian - Karran Cumberlege

Head of

Board Advisory

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