AI in the Boardroom The essential questions for your next board meeting

This paper was produced by the Institute of Directors Science, Innovation and Technology Expert Advisory Group with the aim of helping members to understand AI.

This reflective checklist will help you get a board-level understanding of where you stand as an organisation when it comes to the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is clear that AI needs to be on the board agenda and considered seriously as part of the G in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) requirements. AI should not be confined within the realms of IT, although the CIO may take responsibility for implementation and management.

  • An IoD members’ survey revealed in 2022 that 80% of boards did not have a process in place to audit their use of AI. They said they did not know what questions to ask.
  • Board governance of AI at the project inception is important because boards do not wish to unravel ethical issues later which may have a reputation and cost impact.
  • Research reveals a gap between board governance and the use of AI in their businesses.
  • Over 86% of businesses already use some form of AI without the board being aware of this.
  • AI applications in business are expanding so AI opportunities and threats need to be understood.
  • AI can amplify existing bias in human decisions and safeguards are needed to prevent this and its impact on perpetuating bias in existing culture.
  • AI governance may be rooted in the core ethical values of the business.
  • AI risk and governance model requires a framework which boards can use as a blueprint

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