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4 October 20233 minute read

DLA Piper Study: Success Factors & Pitfalls for the Use of Artificial Intelligence.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has seen a significant upswing in recent years. In response, global law firm DLA Piper has published a new international study ("AI Governance: Balancing Policy, Compliance, and Commercial Value") on the use of AI. It outlines the challenges companies in different industries are facing with the technology, and how organizations can unlock the value in AI responsibly and successfully. On the launch of the report, the Vienna office of DLA Piper provides an insight into the current legal situation in Austria and how the law firm can support companies with heir AI rollout.

The possibilities that AI opens up seem limitless, but they also harbor risks. DLA Piper's recent study emphasizes the central role of good governance in realizing the potential of AI in a fragmented, and ever changing regulatory landscape. Effective governance balances risk and reward, compliance and commerce, and value orientation and productivity.

The report shows that nearly all companies surveyed (96%) are adopting AI, with 72% using third-party tools and solutions. AI is currently most commonly used in customer service (59%), and R&D or product development (57%). 45% see AI as critical to adding value to their business, and 41% expect AI to make their core business obsolete if they don't embrace the new technology.

The success of many AI projects stands or falls with governance

Companies identified establishing and implementing good governance as the biggest challenge in deploying AI, with 99% of respondents naming it in their top 5 challenges. Ensuring that AI initiatives work within regulatory guidelines was cited as a top challenge by 96% of respondents. And for good reason: nearly half of respondents (43%) found that AI projects had to be interrupted, paused or reset. Privacy issues (48%) and a lack of governance framework (37%) were cited as common causes.

Half of respondents (49%) want to leverage the value of AI while acting in line with their own corporate values. Two-thirds (65%) have already actively terminated contracts with AI suppliers due to ethical concerns.

Regulatory requirements - one in three companies is unsure

More than one-third (36%) of respondents are unsure whether their company is complying with current legislation. This creates an increased need for legal advice. DLA Piper Vienna provides advice on AI strategies based on its international experience and constant exchange with other offices around the globe. The firm actively supports organizations in legally sound AI implementation, and in keeping their AI strategy up to date with the latest developments in this busy space.

MMag. Sabine Fehringer, Partner and IT/IP Head of DLA Piper Vienna:

"With the EU's AI Act, work is currently underway on the world's first legal framework on artificial intelligence. This EU regulation is set to become the centerpiece in the legal handling of AI, and we are closely monitoring developments. However, even before it comes into force, there are some rules and laws that apply to AI in the EU or in Austria. For example, there is a lot of overlap with data protection, as AI draws on large amounts of data and often involves personal data. Data mining and data sharing are also tangential, regulated by the Data Governance Act, which recently came into force, and in the future additionally by the Data Act. In addition, the issue is closely intertwined with copyright law, as existing works - such as in the arts - are used to train artificial intelligence, for example."

Read more about the report