Home Knowledge William Fry AI Summit: Key Insights

William Fry AI Summit: Key Insights

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming many aspects of everyday life. From a business perspective, how do we keep up with the significant changes and navigate the complexities in this emerging field and how do we as individuals play a role in successful integration? From a legal perspective, with the AI Act set to become law by 1 August, what do organisations need to be doing in terms of setting up legal compliance frameworks?

On 28 May 2024, William Fry hosted The AI Summit: Discussions at the Cutting Edge,  at the Aviva Stadium, gathering world-leading experts and leaders in AI, to share their experiences and insights, and to discuss the opportunities and challenges that AI presents.

The insightful event saw four panels of leading experts explore topics including AI & data protection, responsible AI & the AI Act, AI implementation and AI & intellectual property.

Opening the inaugural AI Summit, Andrew Trimble, former international rugby player and co-founder of Kairos was joined by William Fry’s managing partner Owen O’Sullivan where they highlighted the evolving AI landscape and how businesses can harness the benefits of AI while navigating the complexities with AI and EU law.

Credit to Silicon Republic for audio

AI & data protection

William Fry’s technology partner, Rachel Hayes opened the first panel session which focused on AI & data protection, emphasising that we are “very much at chapter one” as regards to the regulatory aspect of AI.

Among the panel members was Emma Redmond – Member of Ireland’s AI Advisory Council and Head of EU Data Protection (OpenAI), Nish Imthiyaz – Global Privacy Counsel (Vodafone), Richard Greene – Senior EMEA Privacy Counsel & DPO (Autodesk).

During the session, speakers discussed the basics of AI and how it leverages human intelligence to produce artificial intelligence. A spotlight in this session was the importance of collaboration in the implementation and use of AI, and pressing area of data protection. The AI & data protection panel concluded with some practical tips that people and businesses can follow to help guide them on their AI journey.

Responsible AI & the AI Act

The second panel, ‘Responsible AI & The AI Act’ included speakers Sasha Rubel, Member of Ireland’s AI Advisory Council and Head of AI Policy EMEA (Amazon Web Services), Kieran McCorry, National Technology Officer (Microsoft Ireland) and Barry Scannell, technology partner (William Fry) and was moderated by William Fry’s technology partner, David Cullen.

Panellists highlighted the interests of trust and ethical standards with AI – a fundamental aspect giving its ever-evolving nature. They also analysed the main features of the AI Act in light of recent and oncoming developments, providing insights on how to navigate the regulatory landscape, mitigate risks when faced with challenges and continuously ensure compliance with EU law, as and when it progresses.

AI implementation

Moderated by William Fry partner and head of the firm’s Technology Group, Leo Moore, the AI Implementation panel was joined by thought leaders Dr. Omar Hatamleh, Chief Advisor, AI & Innovation (NASA) Deborah Threadgold, General Manager, Ireland (IBM), Prag Sharma, Global Head of AI Centre of Excellence (Citi) to share their insights on the implementation of AI.

This dialogue saw more reflection on the culture of collaboration whereby speakers underlined the value of people when integrating AI. Collectively, the panellists addressed the need for five influential factors in AI implementation: people, processes, technology, infrastructure and data.

Deborah Threadgold said: “Bringing people from your organisations on this journey is fundamental because no matter how great the technology is, no matter how super your process is, if people are not with you, you’re not going to be successful”.

AI & intellectual property

The final panel of the afternoon brought our very own AI & intellectual property (IP) experts to the stage, technology partner, Barry Scannell and litigation & investigations partner, Colette Brady, to speak about AI and IP.

First, Barry provided an overview of the various IP issues being raised by AI and discussed some of the nuanced issues William Fry’s clients are facing in this area.

Barry was then joined by Colette for a fireside chat where they examined the intersection of AI and IP, disclosing issues and concerns of ownership, protection and exploitation of AI-generated and AI-assisted creations. They talked about the legal implications of copyright infringement, what is going to be protected under intellectual copyright laws, and how AI can be deployed to help protect IP.

Key takeaway

The AI Summit delivered key insights into the development of AI and how it impacts society and business. This technological advancement is growing at a pace not seen before, faster than any regulation in the EU. Staying up to the date with the latest developments in AI and the regulations alongside it is vital for both people and businesses as we move forward.

William Fry is committed to empowering clients to achieve a state of compliance-readiness while they undergo digital transformation and AI implementation. Our cross-functional team consists of technology, AI, data protection and intellectual property experts, ensuring that businesses not only prevail the impacts of EU regulatory requirements, but also harness the significant benefits that AI can bring.

Check out our website for more information on the work William Fry is doing on the area of AI in the dedicated AI practice area of our website.

For more information on how we are assisting clients in relation to the EU Digital Strategy Framework, please download William Fry’s EU Technology Regulation Playbook.