An article produced by Corporate Financier, ICAEW, June 2020  

The original article can be found here (page 5)

Featuring: APPG AI evidence findings on Corporate Decision Marking: Best Practice Guidelines for AI Adoption, published in this report. The video of the evidence meeting can be found here, and the photo gallery can be found here. Big Innovation Centre is the organiser and appointed Secretariat by UK Parliament for the group. 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG-AI) hosted an online evidence meeting on 11 May, organised with the Corporate Finance Faculty. Open to the public and joined by 300 people, it was the best-attended online meeting the group has hosted since it switched from gathering at the House of Lords because of COVID-19.

The subjects covered included the use of AI-based technologies in corporate decision-making, investment and M&A. Chaired by Lord Clement-Jones CBE (a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty board) and Stephen Metcalfe MP, the expert panel comprised:

  • Jan Chan, EY’s chief innovation officer for transaction advisory services in the UK and Ireland;
  • Dr Christine Chow, head of Asia and global emerging markets, Hermes Investment Management;
  • Naomi Climer CBE, co-chair of the Institute for the Future of Work;
  • Sanu de Lima, deputy director, corporate governance reform, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy;
  • David Petrie, head of corporate finance, ICAEW;
  • Charles Radclyffe, former head of AI, Fidelity International; and
  • Dr Zoë Webster, director – AI and data economy, Innovate UK.

The meeting was co-ordinated by professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO of the Big Innovation Centre, and Dr Désirée Remmert, the centre’s AI lead.

Petrie told the audience: “Unless we get it right, we won’t avoid overregulation in the area of AI. The purpose of ethical principles is useful, but unless they are operationalised and turned into corporate governance standards, then legislators will have to erect regulation. The more we can embed ethics in standards of corporate behaviour, the better it will be in allowing innovation.

“Looking ahead to the recovery, it’s important to consider the potential benefits and risks of AI-based applications for companies, investors, advisers and our wider society. Boosting public and private investment in advanced technologies will be crucial for a global societal and economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Chan said global competition in AI had increased dramatically: “There is a huge amount of access to cheap AI capability and the computational power is now there and cheaper than ever.”

The panel also discussed responsible innovation and public trust. Chow said: “In different sectors and industries some of the safety aspects and risks aspects would be more important than the applications of AI. Irrespective of what the company does, it is important to map where big data and AI is used.”

The meeting was partly based on the report AI in Corporate Advisory, coauthored by the faculty’s Shaun Beaney and Rosanna Woods of Drooms.