Generative Artificial Intelligence – The Legal Issues Unpacked


As generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives and workplaces, many legal issues have emerged; The event enabled conversations on the current legal frameworks of AI in the GCC, the regulations on said systems, and the potential implications of the usage of AI in the financial services industry.

David Yates, Head of Digital and Data at Al-Tamimi & Company, said that one of the first issues that came to mind regarding the usage of AI was the terms and policies of popular systems such as ChatGPT.  Companies that provide AI services and platforms must ensure that users understood the terms and conditions governing the usage of these tools, as well as their data privacy policies. This is especially important because AI systems collect vast amounts of personal and sensitive data, which creates significant legal challenges that have to be addressed.

Yates mentioned that data protection compliance is another key issue that companies must address when deploying AI systems. Companies must ensure that they are complying with all data protection laws and regulations, including the applicable privacy laws. This includes obtaining proper consent from users and implementing appropriate security measures to protect sensitive data as the legal landscape surrounding artificial intelligence (AI)-generated material is still evolving and can vary across jurisdictions. 

Yates provided a general overview of how the law typically addresses potential legal risks connected with AI-generated material, especially in client interactions and financial decision-making processes.

Yate’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion that included Ammar Boumajdad, Country Head of Mashreq Kuwait, moderated by Ghassan Alkhoja, Country Representative for The World Bank. The panel discussed the potential implications of utilizing AI in the financial services sector, including considerations such as intellectual property rights and copyright law. They provided recommendations to companies/banks regarding secure infrastructures, workforce awareness, and incident response planning to ensure that any AI-generated content is checked for accuracy, and copyright infringement and sensitive information is not input into said systems. Companies must take steps to minimize the risk of error or improper actions by their AI systems and ensure that they have comprehensive, adequate policies.

Boumajdad explained that AI systems can have a significant impact on the financial services industry through the automation of certain critical processes such as risk assessment and the detection of fraudulent activities. But there was also almost unlimited scope to use this technology to enhance the client experience and potentially make products and services available when the customer needs them.  However, he made it very clear that despite the obvious benefits of applying AI, it was critical that companies – without exception – were fully compliant with all regulatory, ethical, and legal requirements relevant to the use of the technology.  

In conclusion, while GPT systems offered potentially significant benefits, companies implementing them must first carefully consider all legal and ethical implications and take all necessary steps to mitigate the associated risks. Panelists closed the discussion by highlighting the fact that companies’ current governance frameworks may not necessarily cover all potential applications of AI and therefore, they may need to be comprehensively revised in order to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology. The objective here would be to take full advantage of the benefits the AI can deliver, whilst remaining fully compliant with all  privacy laws, ethics, and other regulations applicable to the usage of AI and associated systems.   

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