Few people will have missed the debate on generative AI in general and ChatGPT in particular that has been raging in recent months. The chatbot on everyone’s lips was launched in November 2022 and it is already crystal clear that this and similar solutions will have an enormous impact. It is now important for lawyers and the business community to be forward-looking and proactive,” says Johanna Näslund, a partner at Advokatfirman Lindahl.
Artificial intelligence is not a new invention in itself, but technology has now developed to such an extent that it has opened up something of a floodgate, with the global tech giants competing to be the first to produce a successful, profit-driven application.
However, the legislation in this field has not developed so quickly.
“Today, there is a patchwork of different regulations, but no clear, unifying AI regulations. For example, the GDPR covers personal data processing in systems, but there is also a great deal that is not regulated that would need to be regulated if we are to achieve sufficiently transparent, risk-assessed and robust systems. At the same time, generative AI has enormous potential, which will necessarily require many professions to be able to handle, talk to and risk assess AI systems”, explains Johanna Näslund, a partner at Lindahl and a lawyer who is currently focusing specifically on matters relating to AI.
At present, it is the companies themselves that bear the greatest responsibility for keeping to an ethical direction and compass. That becomes a challenge when they are faced with such difficult issues and complex judgments. Particularly when it comes to dealing with the conflict between global development and existing jurisdictions, which are limited in national and regional terms.
According to Johanna Näslund, lawyers will play a key role in future development.
“We always work towards good overall solutions in our assignments. We are used to weighing profit against risk. We know how to safeguard democratic values, carry out critical examination and act as ethical compasses when weighing matters. That is exactly what is needed in the times we are now living in, when the legislator is lagging behind and there is no let up in the technology.
“Our industry has historically been seen as fairly conservative. In this development, we must be neither afraid nor hostile towards the future. On the contrary, we must dare to take on and understand the technology and the opportunities and place them in the legal context which is our starting point,” she explains.
In a recent survey by Gartner, the global analytics firm, 45 per cent of over 2,500 business leaders asked said they are investing more in AI in the wake of ChatGPT. 70 per cent stated that they are currently researching generative AI and 19 per cent already have ongoing pilot studies or production (gartner.com).
“That’s exactly why we, as business lawyers, must also dare to embrace technology and talk about both the opportunities and the challenges to enable us to provide the best possible help for our clients. It is important, in turn, for members of the business community to be aware of draft legislation pending processing in their current development and strategy work.
“Legislation takes time, we know that. The rapid technological development of AI is happening now. It won’t wait. Lawyers and companies therefore need to work together and do our best to anticipate the legislation,” concludes Johanna Näslund.