AI is already influencing every single industry on the planet. Therefore, since it is crucial for companies to have a competitive advantage over their competitors, AI can certainly provide such a competitive advantage. In fact, PwC identified that 72% of business executives think ‘AI will be the business advantage of the future.’ Another incentive for companies to use AI is evident from the fact that AI is expected to add $15.7 trillion to the global economy. Additionally, as Microsoft has observed, “Businesses expect AI to have a positive impact on growth (90 percent), productivity (86 percent), innovation (84 percent) and job creation (69 percent) in their country and industry.” It is, therefore, only natural that Forbes described AI as “one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times.”
Correspondingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the use of AI within companies. Notably, as Cliff Justice, KPMG global lead for Intelligent Automation, rightly emphasised, “Now more than ever, companies need to make smart investments in emerging technologies if they are to prevail in the medium to long-term. Companies who don’t, risk threatening their own survival”. Appropriately, The Economic Times and BBC have reported that investment in AI by companies has surged during the pandemic with no signs of stopping. This is because AI has allowed companies to keep operating expenses low and remain productive while preventing workplace infections.
Consequently, this incredible technology inevitably gives rise to a variety of legal issues. For instance:
- The AI system may be provided under an agreement and hence, specifying the standards that the system must fulfill is key as well as including suitable limitation and exclusion clauses.
- Even if the AI system is not provided under an agreement, companies must contemplate their liability in tort.
- If the AI program is submerged into a product, companies must contemplate whether product liability is likely to arise.
- The AI system may undertake pricing decisions and companies must thus contemplate the risk of the system breaching competition law.
Companies also have further obligations in making sure that their AI systems are fair and lawful while avoiding discrimination and bias, especially when those AI technologies are making decisions about individuals. In such situations where companies collect personal data, regulations such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply. Consequently, companies should ensure compliance with such regulations to prevent large penalties. This, however, should not discourage companies from collecting data, provided it is lawful, since data is the world’s most valuable resource.
Christiana Aristidou LLC is the only technology law firm in Cyprus and its fast-growing team is well-equipped to tackle any of these legal issues and risks. The firm can add enormous value to any company seeking to mitigate its risks associated with the usage of AI as well as ensuring that the usage of these AI technologies is as productive as possible without stifling innovation. The Lead Partner, Christiana Aristidou has over 23 years in practice as a Business Technology Lawyer and her expertise in such AI technologies is second to none. In light of this, Cyprus is also a country ripe for opportunity in terms of AI advancements. This is apparent from the EU’s report on the Strategy of Cyprus with regard to the establishment of an AI ecosystem across Cyprus.
Our law firm pioneers in AI
Further, lawyers with the assistance of AI can conduct their everyday functions more productively resulting in cheaper legal services. For example, JPMorgan states that it uses AI technologies to review commercial-loan agreements, finishing in seconds “what used to take 360,000 hours of lawyers’ time over the course of a year.” Therefore, law firms using AI are saving significant costs to their clients, in conjunction to providing more accurate, efficient and timely results.
Christiana Aristidou LLC has an AI program, called ‘RhEA Bot’, which resulted from the firm’s collaboration with Fountech. It combines the firm’s legal expertise with Fountech’s Artificial Intelligence specialty. RhEA Bot is an AI-operated bot intended to assist, facilitate, and expedite the process of setting up a company in Cyprus. Leveraging AI technology and using targeted legal knowledge to elicit easy and comprehensive information from clients, RhEA Bot seeks to disrupt the legal industry. RhEA Bot shall become part of the firm’s services and endeavor towards the firm’s vision for a technology-driven provision of legal services and will be further commercialized to other law firms.