A predicate technology for many areas of digital transformation is artificial intelligence (AI). The instructional code for AI and the algorithms that drive it introduce new requirements for management that need to be better understood, disseminated, and optimised.
Data & algorithmic governance
When we introduce algorithmic decision making, a number of questions need to be answered both about how we manage those algorithms, and also the data associated with them. Significant risk can be introduced to a firm that executive leadership and Boards may not fully comprehend, and there is a growing body of best practice around the governance of data and algorithms.
Systems of AI management
In parallel to the data / algorithm question, select firms are beginning to pioneer a dedicated area of new management practice to oversee AI across the firm, including both operational / functional and compliance activities.
The EU GDPR and UK GDPR, along with other privacy regulation emerging around the world, require new practices, products, processes, business models, and strategies to accommodate a world in which harvesting data for free from end-users is coming to an end.
World governments are increasingly putting in place AI regulations, notably the European Parliament for EU-wide standards and more recently a proposal from the US government. As policymakers grapple with regulating AI, how do we avoid either over- or under-regulation? What inputs are needed to navigate successful policy interventions in this domain?
Risks of ‘ethics washing’
Just as market and regulatory forces drove companies to adopt ESG practices, many firms would then engage in ‘green washing’, making it look as if they were sustainable when in fact it was all theatre, no action. Similarly, as greater focus on ethics and responsible innovation have arisen, a number of prominent companies notably announced ethics initiatives, and then disbanded them when the recommendations from third-party experts ran too contrary to the profit requirements of the enterprise. How can governments, corporate leaders, and advocacy groups navigate around ‘ethics washing’?