AI directors transform governance

News that a Hong Kong company Deep Knowledge Ventures has taken the plunge to appoint an artificial intelligence (AI) Executive Director with actual authority, real powers and a vote to their board, leads some to suggest that a bright algorithmic future might be about to irrevocably transform decision-making on the executive floor as well as inside the C-suite.

Corporate governance expert and independent directorship evangelist Gerry Brown, and author of ‘The Independent Director’ (
www.theindependentdirector.co.uk) welcomes the arrival of more light and less heat in the decision-making and governance of our executive boards.

As a long-time successful investor in innovation and also health technologies, Brown is keen embrace any business and decision-making benefits that the introduction of AI and even AI Directors bring to our executive boards.  However, he believes better non-executive directors (NED’s) currently trump AI Directors from a cost, implementation and availability point of view, ignoring some already exhibit many of the positive attributes ascribed to implementing AI in the C-suite.

 “There continues to be an ongoing and serial reluctance to appoint truly independent-minded non-executives to our UK boards.  Doing so can start tomorrow without any need for costly kit, consultancy or programming,” says Brown.

“To my mind, the best non-execs are experienced, knowledgeable but independent.  If appointed, these properly independent directors (I.D.) can deliver pretty well all the benefits claimed for AI.  Sadly, it often appears the current cadre of Chairmen, CEO’s and executive-directors are seriously unable to overcome their own pale, male and stale coding.  Despite a litany of corporate scandals and mis-steps, there really is no reason or justifiable excuse to bet the house on the jam tomorrow promises and power of AI Directorships without really trying to upgrade the existing human operating systems.  It is worth remembering that the best ID’s are already unafraid to question Chairs and CEO’s whenever the situation merits.”