Lawyers appointed to new AI Advisory Council

Lawyers appointed to new AI Advisory Council

A consultant at William Fry, an in-house lawyer at OpenAI and a law professor at Trinity College Dublin are among the members of a new advisory council helping to shape the Irish government’s approach to artificial intelligence.

The AI Advisory Council, chaired by Dr Patricia Scanlon, met for the first time yesterday and will initially focus on providing expert guidance, insights and recommendations in response to specific requests from government.

Later, it will also develop and deliver its own workplan of advice to government on issues in AI policy, providing insights on trends, opportunities and challenges.

The 14 members represent a spectrum of experience and expertise from academia, business, law, security, social sciences, economics and civil society.

They include Barry Scannell, a consultant in the technology group at William Fry, where his work is focused on AI law. He was previously profiled by Irish Legal News as our Lawyer of the Month for August 2023.

Emma Redmond, an experienced technology lawyer who is now associate general counsel and head of EU privacy and data protection at OpenAI — becoming the first member of the OpenAI team in Ireland — is also a member.

Professor Deirdre Ahern, professor of law and director of the Technologies, Law and Society Research Group at Trinity College Dublin School of Law, brings expertise in regulatory policy and corporate governance of new technologies, in particular AI.

The full membership of the council can be found on the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment website.

Welcoming the council’s first meeting, Dara Calleary, minister of state with responsibility for digital, said: “Ireland has a wealth of experience and expertise in artificial intelligence. My ambition is that we become a leading country in using AI to the benefit of our people, through a human centred and ethical approach to AI adoption and use.

“We have the building blocks in place in our national AI strategy. The AI Advisory Council will support the delivery of this as an agile sounding board for government on harnessing these rapidly developing technologies for the common good.

“Dr Patricia Scanlon has done an excellent job in her role as Ireland’s AI ambassador since 2022. I welcome her continued commitment to public service in volunteering to chair the AI Advisory Council.

“I also welcome the commitment of all the members of the council in volunteering their time, experience and expertise.”

Dr Scanlon added: “I look forward to leading the AI Advisory Council in providing timely, impactful recommendations and advice to government.

“The members of the council come from a range of backgrounds. Their collective insights will be hugely useful, both in helping to demystify AI technology and in providing early foresight of emerging trends, challenges, risks and opportunities.”

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