Empowering AI Leadership

5 Feb 2020

The Challenge:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the software engine that drives the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Its impact can already be seen in homes, across businesses and impacting political processes. When embodied in robots, it will soon be driving cars, stocking warehouses and caring for the young and elderly. Within computers and smart devices, it is already shaping our society, including who is given mortgages, released from prison, and shown job opportunities. While AI holds the promise of solving some of the most pressing issues facing society, it also presents challenges, such as inscrutable “black box” algorithms, unethical use of data and potential job displacement.

As AI increasingly becomes an imperative for business models across industries, corporate leaders will be required to identify the specific benefits this complex technology can bring to their businesses as well the concerns about the need to design, develop and deploy it responsibly. Striking the right balance will lead to sustainable businesses in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but failing to design, develop and use AI responsibly can bring damage brand value and risk customer backlash.

The Opportunity

Board members of all companies are responsible for stewarding their companies through the current period of unprecedented technological change and its attendant societal impacts. A practical set of tools can empower Board Members in asking the right questions, understanding the key trade-offs and meeting the needs of diverse stakeholders, as well as how to consider and optimize approaches such as appointing a Chief Values Officer Chief AI Officer or AI Ethics Advisory Board.


This AI Board Toolkit was designed around four pillars: technical, brand, governance, and organizational impacts of AI, each providing an ethical lens around creating, marketing, and sustaining AI in the long term. The toolkit supports companies in deciding whether and how to adopt particular approaches and in understanding the power of the technology to advance their business.

The toolkit was designed by AI experts in collaboration with board members and key stakeholders from diverse companies and industries to ensure it meets the specific needs of corporate leaders and can lead to practical action and concrete impact.

This article first appeared on the website for Corporate Secretary (

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Peadar Duffy, Founder Director at SoluxR™- This is an excellent step forward; and I’m delighted to be working alongside others in JTC 1 SC 42 under whose leadership a number of guidelines will shortly be published.
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