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13 September 20234 minute read

AI governance posing biggest challenge to AI deployment, reveals research report

  • DLA Piper publishes its "AI Governance: Balancing Policy, Compliance and Commercial Value" research report with original international findings from AI decision makers across different sectors
  • Findings reveal that over a third of organizations are not confident their AI deployment complies with current laws (36%), nor are clear on how AI regulation is evolving (39%)

Global law firm DLA Piper today publishes its in-depth report "AI Governance: Balancing Policy, Compliance, and Commercial Value". The comprehensive research-led report delves into the critical intersection of artificial intelligence, governance, and risk. It explores beyond the discourse to uncover how organizations are rolling out AI programs in practice, the challenges they are facing, and shares insight from DLA Piper's global AI group as to how AI value can be unlocked responsibly, ethically and commercially.

While the transformative potential of AI seems boundless, it also presents risks. DLA Piper's report emphasizes the pivotal role of good governance in unlocking AI's transformative potential in a fragmented regulatory landscape. Concerns surrounding responsible AI use have surged alongside its adoption, prompting global policymakers and regulators to formalize rules to address societal, technical, and commercial challenges. Effective governance aligns risk and reward, compliance and commerce, and values-driven value creation.

Key findings from the report

AI deployment:
  • 96% of respondents are rolling out AI, with 72% using tools and solutions from third-party vendors
  • AI is currently most commonly being deployed in customer service (59%), and R&D/product development (57%)
  • 45% see AI as critical to how their organization generates value, and 41% foresee their core business being made redundant by AI unless they embrace it
AI challenges and risks:
  • Establishing and implementing good governance was the leading challenge in deploying AI, with 99% of respondents citing it in their top 5 challenges
  • Ensuring AI initiatives operate within regulatory guidelines was cited as a key challenge by 96% of respondents
  • Nearly half of respondents (43%) have seen AI projects interrupted, paused or rolled back citing data privacy issues (48%) and a lack of governance framework (37%) as common reasons
AI governance:
  • Half of respondents (49%) want to unlock AI value, in line with their organizational values, and 65% have actively terminated AI supplier contracts over ethical concerns
  • Over half of respondents are excluding legal and compliance teams from their AI decision making
  • Over a third (36%) of respondents are not confident that they comply with current AI law, and 39% are unclear on how regulation is evolving

Paul Allen, Partner and Global Co-Chair of Intellectual Property and Technology at DLA Piper, shares: "In an era of emphatic discourse surrounding AI, our report unveils the critical truths, challenges and opportunities shaping the AI landscape. AI has infiltrated every sector, promising almost limitless competitive advantage. However, amidst the hype, we explore commercial risk and escalating concerns about responsible and compliant AI use.

Mark O'Conor, Partner and Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper's Technology Sector Group, adds "To unlock AI's potential, organizations must discern real concerns from 'phantom' risks. Our report underscores the pivotal role of good governance in navigating the AI landscape, reconciling risk and reward, compliance and commerce, and ultimately unlocking value in line with values."

Accompanying its research, "AI Governance: Balancing Policy, Compliance, and Commercial Value" shares context, insight, and strategy and framework recommendations from Partners across DLA Piper's global AI team covering common challenges on the topic from intellectual property and employment issues, to supplier contacting and global regulatory divergence. It goes on to spotlight sector-specific findings across Media Sports & Entertainment, Technology, Life Sciences, Insurance, Financial Services, Industrials, and Consumer Goods, Food & Retail.