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Enhance your AI readiness and ensure successful AI implementation

Posted on 8 November 2023

On the 7 September, Ashley Williams, Partner in our Technology team, hosted our AI Readiness Programme event.

In this hybrid session, we were joined by guest speakers Mari Sako (Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) and Michael Rose (Senior Associate at DRD Partnership) who took a full spectrum approach at assessing and managing AI risk, from AI compliance by design through to implementation of effective reputational and crisis management if things go wrong.

At the event, we delved into the complexities of AI, enhancing our understanding of its risks and the strategies to mitigate them. We also ventured into the exploration of untested legal issues associated with AI solutions. Furthermore, attendees gained insights into the key steps to consider before adopting transformative AI technology, such as ChatGPT.

Ashley Williams, Partner and Technology Transactions Group Co-Lead
We are super excited to have everyone come in on supply side, customer side, investment side in this Ai ecosystem and really there’s just so much noise going on at the moment so what we are trying to do is a cradle to grave approach for AI readiness in just two hours to try and give as much practical types for people operating in this area.

Katy Colton, Partner, Head of the Politics and Law Group
What I’d like people to take away from our session today is a greater understanding of the current political will in the UK for regulating AI and how this compares to approach taken elsewhere particularly in the EU, in the US and in China.  I’d also like people to understand better if you are a company operating an AI or a company that’s going to be affected by AI, how do you get your message across the key players in Government to help to influence and shape future regulation and policy.

Daniel Hoadley, Head of Data Science and Analytics
But when we are collecting data we need to be mindful that depending on the date we are collecting there might be a reporting bias, it may be that our data set has more of one particular thing and less of another just because people talk more about being (a) than they do about being (b).

James Boyle, Innovation Partner, Data Group
When we are talking about designing AI systems in a way that’s compliant and ethical, the most effective way of really seeing that done so far in the market is through a real genuine collaboration between suppliers, customers and the regulators.  So we see some really ethical suppliers coming in who want to the right thing and customers who are kind of naturally curious and also want to make sure they are legally compliant.  It’s those questions from customers and the collaboration between the customers and the supplier that’s really driven kind of meaningful change in developing these systems.

Mari Sako, Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
I think one of the important reasons for the make or break of AI venture start-ups is access to really good quality data and that’s how I got started in thinking about how do these providers of AI solutions contract with their clients or provide this data.

Michael Rose, Senior Associate, DRD Partnership
If you look at what the Science and Technology Committee report said just last month, they say lots of nice things about you know, we, we risk you know, we risk falling behind the regulatory curve but also there’s lots of innovation, there’s lots of positive things that AI could bring but still you don’t have that call for a kind of cross cutting AI regulator that sets the rules of the game, it’s still not there and you don’t seem to have that movement quite yet within the kind of key political centres in the UK.

Emma Woollcott, Partner, Head of Reputation Protection and Crisis Management
I’m a reputation lawyer, businesses and individuals come to me at all stages of their lifecycle and their development.  Normally in this sort of situation where something’s bubbling and they are raising in profile or raising in prominence and there’s an issue and sometimes they are saying, is this a PR issue, is this a legal issue, how should we react, what should we do. Anything novel or exciting is covered by the mainstream leader with scepticism, fear so when you are testing when you are pushing boundaries, you are going to attract attention.  AI businesses need to be even more alive to preparing and thinking about where these, these situations and these areas of scrutiny may arise particularly if taking on investment, particularly if going out to the market and showing yourselves as innovators.

Radhika Rani, Senior Legal Counsel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
The key takeaway from today was really to approach AI with an open mind and ensure that we collaborate and communicate with all the right stakeholders including actually liaising with your law firms and to discuss with them what is the best way to be really prepared for AI and have a proactive approach.

Ashley Williams, Partner and Technology Transactions Group Co-Lead
I think the sessions were amazing.  We had really good speakers who really engaged the audience and particularly Emma Woollcott at the end making everyone answer the questions around how you deal with reputational management went really well I think.  I mean what we tried to do with this event is bring lots of cross disciplinary together.  I think that is instantly a learning experience because there are lots of things that Katie Colton on the politics and law side does and Emma Woollcott on the reputational management side that I am never really engaged in, in the same way so I learnt a lot about how to influence legislation and also what to do when things go wrong and I think the final thing that I would say is you know, we had a number of questions in the room about IP, IP ownership, issues around IP and I would really encourage people to join us on the 16 November for our event which we will announce soon.


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