Take a glance at the “About Us” tab on many start-up’s, scale-up’s or SME’s websites and there’s a good chance you’ll see the trending tech trigger phrase of recent years: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The insurgence of AI in business means the legal framework within companies is being stretched as it adapts to the rapidly developing field.
This blog will offer advice on the right legal framework for your AI but importantly, how the right legal set up will be of real value to your AI centric business.
1. Identify your AI
Make some important clarifications. If you think that AI is central to your business model then more than likely what you are doing is either:
- Labelling your basic data analysis as a kind of AI framework.
- Using iterative technologies, such as via machine or deep learning, to minimize the need for humans by continuously getting smarter. These systems create their own data exhausts.
If b) sounds like you, and you use such a system to generate constructive solutions to business problems, then it’s likely you are actually using AI.
If you fall into the a) camp, it might be you’re applying some good marketing camouflage or you’re not exactly sure what your tech is doing….
If you are unsure about your AI, take a look at this super clear post which we love.
Protect your ideas, protect your IP
In today’s tech climate we are dealing in the ideas economy. AI systems often start as just an idea, so how can you harness that idea to be of real value? The right legals can help to turn your ideas into results.
It might sound obvious, but you need to look after your IP: “your creations of the mind”.
“The value of AI is not to be found in the models themselves, but in companies’ abilities to harness them”. – McKinsey Analysis Report, April 2018
When it comes to IP and AI here’s a good starting point for legal solutions:
- Patents – if your product is innovative and patentable, you can benefit greatly from registering it as a patent
- Copyright – any original content created by you automatically qualifies as copyright protected, but you will need your employees to assign copyright in anything they create while working for your startup.
A common IP challenge: An individual (such as an employee or founder) creates intellectual property before becoming a part of the company. What can you do? At Linkilaw we suggest you get an IP assignment agreement in place. This transfers any rights in or to the IP created by the individual to the company, and can be applied to any IP including trademarks, patents, logos, designs, or any other IP.
Linkilaw can offer more help on drafting these agreements (and more) – take a look here.
Software Developers (developers, developers…)
This follows on from IP and it’s pretty straightforward: if you are using a third party developer to help provide software to either integrate with or drive your AI product then it’s vital that all parties involved are super clear about who owns the IP.
Often an SDA (Software Development Agreement) will cover all matters of completion, ownership (IP), development scheduling, costing, confidentiality and warranties.
An inherent aspect of AI tools is the abundant data flow that surrounds the system. Put simply: if you use AI; you use, process and store lots of data.
Even though it’s over a year since it’s implementation, compliance with GDPR can be a bit of a headache to get right, but at Linkilaw we can ease that pain by providing bespoke GDPR solutions.
Getting GDPR right can really help steer your company’s data culture in the right direction to maintain.
In a digital age where public scrutiny towards major tech players is growing, calls for transparency and honesty with data are at the forefront of the AI debate. Having a transparent AI system which can be easily accessed and audited will continue to be a massive area of focus for tech companies.
Not only does transparency put pressure on you to have solid legals in place to ensure compliance, but by getting ahead in transparency you will instill a culture of honesty.
Forging greater bonds of trust throughout your business, amongst your clients and with regulators can build tremendous value in the fast moving world of AI.
I hope this helps you and your business! If you have any doubt for setting up the right legals to your AI centric business, book a call with our legal team and we’ll guide you through every stage of your legal needs.