Wisdom of the Crowd: ACC Thought Leaders on AI and Governance, Part 2

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The recent ACC Thought Leaders Roundtable illuminated the intricate challenges and opportunities that AI brings to the business landscape from a legal standpoint.

Understanding and governing AI in business

There is a significant disparity in the comprehension of AI within businesses. While some are meticulous in understanding the implications of AI, others hastily stamp the “AI” label on products without delving into its deeper implications. The rapid adoption of AI by many development teams is driven by a fear of lagging behind competitors. This haste, paired with misconceptions, underscores the vital role of legal departments: to educate, establish guidelines, and address the forthcoming regulatory environment.

As AI's integration into everyday tools like Microsoft 365 becomes more prevalent, in-house counsel must understand these tools to guide their teams effectively. Moreover, with the surfacing of indemnification offers against AI's third-party infringement claims and the challenges in understanding AI's source material, the legal landscape is continually shifting.

Facilitating business dialogue on AI

Legal teams must offer clear guidelines to the business teams, to help them navigate the emerging regulatory environment. As governments worldwide are in the early stages of AI regulations, companies must anticipate and prepare. To foster understanding and dialogue, initiatives such as “lunch and learns” can be invaluable.

Presentation conference workplace.
It is imperative to communicate between both legal and business teams in preparation of new emerging AI technology. Aqi / Shutterstock.com

AI policies, contracts, and acquisitions

When engaging with AI, a holistic approach is vital. Companies should consider their AI usage, understand vendor AI applications, and keep abreast of terms of service and privacy policy changes. AI's definition in vendor contexts might sometimes be overly broad, emphasizing the need for precision in contracts and vendor engagements. With AI entering corporate acquisition due diligence lists, its influence is pervasive.

Unraveling the surprises and challenges of AI

Businesses are adopting AI at a hurtling speed, often without sufficient caution. The embedded nature of AI in tools from giants like Microsoft and Google suggests an inevitable march towards an AI-driven world. While this raises concerns, particularly regarding IP and the potential for rapid policy changes, it also offers opportunities.

The ACC AI Curated Resource Collection, for instance, emerges as a beacon for navigating these uncharted waters. It is crucial to maintain a balance: embracing AI's potential while also understanding its risks and responsibilities. Gaining insight from peers’ experience is also a great way to broaden your perspective, such as with the ACC IT, Privacy and eCommerce Community.

Key takeaways

  • AI's integration into business is a double-edged sword: brimming with opportunities but also riddled with challenges.
  • Synergy between legal and IT teams is pivotal for effective AI governance.
  • Continuous education and clarity on AI concepts can dispel misconceptions and enhance its beneficial use.
  • A proactive approach to AI governance is vital, encompassing clear guidelines and anticipating regulatory changes.