Lex Mundi launches AI-readiness checklist for corporate legal functions

Tool supports movement towards AI arising from COVID-19 crisis

Lex Mundi launches AI-readiness checklist for corporate legal functions

An AI-readiness checklist was launched last month to help general counsel and chief legal officers around the world to identify key issues when navigating the integration of artificial intelligence within the business.

The checklist was created by Lex Mundi, in conjunction with Cambrian Futures, Microsoft Europe and Morrison & Foerster LLP to meet a growing demand from legal departments to embrace AI. It is the result of ongoing consultations with general counsel about how AI is transforming their business and the regulatory environment.

The COVID-19 crisis has further accelerated the need for AI in legal departments, according to Jenny Karlsson, Lex Mundi’s head of North America, global markets, who led the project. While AI has often been used by legal departments to speed up time-consuming activities that can be automated - such as contract reviews and drafting - it can now also be beneficial in building relationships with stakeholders.

“During the pandemic and post-corona, the marketplace is going to need more AI, and AI will become more essential in how businesses adapt to the new conditions and how they structure relationships with stakeholders like employees, suppliers and customers,” says Karlsson. “Where they might previously have jumped on a plane to build relationships with customers and suppliers, they might now be using AI and algorithms to do that for them.”

The AI-readiness checklist is segmented into five key areas – governance; compliance, test, audit and evolve; training; and institution building.  Each segment offers a checklist of targeted questions addressing significant considerations for GCs, ranging from the preparation for cyber/ data breaches, to the testing of machine learning models. It is intended as a starting point to help department leaders know which questions to ask internally about managing the use of AI. Karlsson anticipates that organizations will tailor their own approach for managing AI-related legal and ethical risks that are specific to their unique business model.

“When navigating the integration of AI into the business, what’s important to general counsel is not just the legal implications of AI use but really understanding the impact on ethics and risk management and reputation,” says Karlsson.

Any organization that has the scale and resources to develop its own AI technologies can benefit from the checklist, including traditional industries that are looking to develop their own capabilities.

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