I had the pleasure and honor to organize, in conjunction with ArbitralWomen and our office in Mexico City, a breakfast seminar on the topic “Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence in international arbitration: new challenges and advocacy skills“. The event coincided with the IBA Latin America Biennial Regional Conference being held in Mexico City, Mexico, between 14 and 16 March 2018.
ArbitralWomen is an international non-governmental organisation with the primary objective of advancing the interests of women and promoting female practitioners in international dispute resolution.
Kate Brown de Vejar, member of the steering committee of Young Arbitral Women Practitioners (YAWP) and Partner at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosle S.C., introduced the event, reflecting that the “gender gap in this region is significant and there is a lot of work to be done”.
A panel of three speakers – Dyalá Jimenez (Principle at DJ Arbitraje and Vice Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR), Patricia Saiz (Arbitrator and Associate Professor at ESADE Law School) and Eduardo Ramos (Lead Counsel DF & PD Divisions, Litigation Counsel in Siemens) – shared their views on the hot topic of cyber security and artificial intelligence in international arbitration. The lively discussion was moderated by Cecilia Azar (Partner at DLA Piper, Mexico City), who grounded the discussion on the relevance of the human factor in the era of robotics.
Patricia Saiz challenged the audience to detect what is the missing factor that robots are still lacking to replace humans. Lack of empathy and the inability of robots to detect different meaning of the same expressions, depending on the context in which said expressions are outlined, came out as the most compelling reasons that, at least as of today, prevent robots to be employed in arbitration.
Yet, the evolution in artificial intelligence is speeding up at a very fast pace. Dyalá Jimenez contended that it will not be too long before the progress is made to fill those gaps. Eduardo Ramos confirmed this, by sharing the progresses made within Siemens in the field of artificial intelligence.
Cecilia Azar’s stimulating moderation led the panelist and the audience to discuss strikingly topics, such as the benefits we can take in from the use of artificial intelligence in arbitration, but also the other side of the medal, such as the several degrees of liability that may arise when addressing issues such as cybersecurity, ethics, impartiality, bias in the selection of arbitrators.
Most of these questions still remain unanswered or with a number of good possible answers.
As Michael Ostrove pointed out in his conclusive remarks, it is important to raise awareness and continue exploring these topics with the aim of finding the most suitable responses, at least from the perspective of practitioners and “users of arbitration”.