Companies could put billions at risk on AI projects without proper legal and ethical framework

  • Companies are planning to significantly increase investment in AI to $77.6 billion 
  • That investment is at risk if they fail to establish the right legal and ethical framework
  • New Linklaters AI toolkit provides the means to address these risks

Global spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems by companies and other organisations is expected to reach $77.6 billion by 2022, more than a threefold increase on that forecasted for 2018. That investment is being made in a wide range of sectors from healthcare to financial services. This growth raises many new legal and ethical challenges which put this investment at risk unless properly addressed.

Linklaters urges companies to look closely at how AI and related technology is being introduced within their organisation. Failure to do so could undermine their investment and lead to serious legal and reputation problems.

In response to the boom in the industry, Linklaters has produced a new AI toolkit. This provides an overview of the key issues that must be considered when implementing AI. Getting the legal structure right – via an approach that is ethical, safe and lawful – will be key to unlocking the significant value AI promises to deliver.

Richard Cumbley, global head of TMT and IP at Linklaters, said: “Businesses are increasingly looking at ways to use artificial intelligence to extract value from their data or automate their processes using sophisticated decision making tools. In doing so, they are having to confront new legal, ethical and practical challenges.”
“We have identified a range of measures that business should take to ensure the successful deployment of this technology. Addressing these issues properly at the start of any project will not only protect the billions some companies are investing in this area but also unlock the very significant potential of this technology.”
“The toolkit covers a wide range of areas including how best to collaborate with third parties, what ownership rights businesses should assert, the regulatory framework including fair use of personal data and the risk of breaking competition law. The toolkit also sets out the safeguards business should apply and the ethical challenges raised by the technology.”