AI and the future of governance - by AI

22 April 2024

Our main event for April featured a discussion about the role of artificial intelligence in governance, so who better to write about it than an AI bot?

If there was a clear message to emerge from our breakfast webinar on the subject of artificial intelligence last week—and there’s a case to be made that there wasn’t, due to the wide-ranging nature of the discussion—it is that AI is already having a significant impact on the way we work and run our organisations, and we ignore it at our peril. But also that, for all the remarkable advances that have been made in the past few years, we’re barely in the foothills of this transformational technology, and we should proceed with as much caution as enthusiasm.

Our guest speakers were Fenella McVey, Managing Director at Charterhouse Consulting, Charlie Helps, Head of Corporate Affairs/Trust Secretary at James Paget University Hospitals, and GGI CEO Professor Andrew Corbett-Nolan.

Given the subject matter, what better way could there be to summarise their contributions than by asking an AI bot to write a brief article about the event?

So that’s what we did. Here’s what it produced:

In a recent insightful webinar, industry thought leaders Charlie, Fenella, and Andrew delved into an intriguing conversation about the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the area of governance.

Their discourse covered an array of ways in which AI can bolster and streamline governance functions at various levels, revealing new possibilities for data-driven decision-making and efficiency.

The discussion kicked off with Charlie's perspective, which emphasised the remarkable capacity of AI to process massive volumes of data for predictive modelling. He highlighted that such AI-powered insights hold immense value for boards, enabling them to discern trends, patterns, and anomalies more accurately.

Beyond this, Charlie argued that AI tools could significantly assist in risk modelling and enhance frontline services, thereby boosting both efficiency and accuracy. However, he also cautioned that AI, despite its many advantages, cannot replace the invaluable intuition and experience of a human board member, underscoring the continued importance of the human element in corporate governance.

Fenella brought a different angle to the discussion, focusing on the utility of AI in meeting management. She explained how an AI bot could efficiently monitor meetings, provide succinct summaries of discussions, and propose actionable points. Not only this, but Fenella also pointed out that the very presence of AI can positively influence human behaviour during meetings. Moreover, AI can provide meta information about meetings, track individual contributions, and even perform sentiment analysis.

Fenella proposed that by taking over routine operational tasks, AI can liberate human professionals, allowing them to devote more time to strategic thinking and cross-functional work.

The conversation was rounded off with Andrew's exploration of the value of an external, AI-enhanced perspective in governance. He noted that while automation could lead to a reduction in human skills due to a lack of practice, it simultaneously opened up novel areas of governance. With the aid of AI, boards could identify unconscious biases and groupthink, thereby enhancing their ability to address overlooked issues and make better-informed decisions.

To sum up, the webinar effectively highlighted the enormous potential of AI to revolutionise governance. While AI cannot and should not replace the human element, it can certainly augment our capabilities, making governance processes more efficient, insightful, and transparent.

Prepared by GGI Development and Research LLP for the Good Governance Institute.

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