As artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly pervades every industry, businesses must be conscious of how they utilise the technology and of what issues may arise from it.

GlobalData, Verdict’s parent company, has created a sector-agnostic AI Governance Framework to help organisations of any size navigate the evolving landscape. It aims to give senior executives the tools needed to identify the potential risks posed by AI systems and provides a checklist of questions to ask tech vendors during the procurement process to ensure they implement AI responsibly.

Speaking to Verdict, GlobalData principal analyst Laura Petrone unpacked key elements of the framework ahead of an introductory webinar on 6 June, touching on the regulatory landscape and the need for ethical AI use.

Why do companies need a governance framework relating to AI?

Petrone: Because AI risks can seriously tarnish a company’s reputation. Companies need a tool that can help them identify and mitigate those risks. Potential issues range from copyright infringement to data privacy breaches and the risk of actual physical harm. Increased use of AI will also reinforce and exacerbate many of society’s biggest challenges, including bias, discrimination, misinformation, and other online harms.

What is the current regulatory landscape and why is it difficult to navigate?

Coordination between different jurisdictions on AI regulation will be slow, and initial attempts to regulate AI will be patchy and will struggle to keep up with the pace of change. There are currently no global regulatory standards for AI, so it can be difficult for CEOs to know what constitutes best practice governance for AI systems. Instead, they are left by governments to voluntarily embed responsible AI values and practices into their AI strategy. As a result, businesses exploring AI face an uncertain global regulatory landscape.

Why should companies make a concerted effort to ensure AI they are using is responsible and ethical?

Companies investing in responsible AI early will have an advantage over their competitors. They can show they are good corporate citizens while actively preparing for upcoming regulations.

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How would companies use GlobalData’s AI governance framework?

GlobalData’s AI governance framework helps senior executives identify the core principles of responsible AI and the specific risks that should inform how any organization designs, develops and deploys AI. It also provides a checklist of questions to ask tech vendors during procurement to ensure AI is implemented responsibly.

The Introducing GlobalData’s AI Governance Framework webinar on 6 June will explore AI-related risks to enterprises, how the framework can be used to address them, what responsible AI use looks like and how companies can navigate regulatory uncertainty.