Muzaffer Eroğlu and Meltem Karatepe Kaya
Can Artificial Intelligence (AI), one of today’s most significant conveniences, help to ensure gender diversity in companies? In our article, we explore whether AI can be utilised as a director or as a management assistant in companies in order to provide the same gains as gender diversity on the board of directors.
We believe that improving corporate board quality both by using technology and AI and diversifying boards are two of the most important current corporate governance issues. Thus, our article examines interactions between the use of AI in corporate decision making and board gender diversity. We analysed the effects of the inevitable use of AI in the corporate decision-making process on corporate board gender diversity discussions and regulations under three possibilities: AI as a board member, AI as an enabler to assist the decision-maker or AI being used to help decision making such as selecting board members.
Seeking answers to these questions, a recent development related to this situation should not be overlooked. As a matter of fact, while noting that AI’s decisions are not so independent from those who designed it and are only as good as its inputs and programming, we should also add that as long as humans develop the software of AI, it is vulnerable to our internal biases. This development is one of the examples where the issue of whether the use of artificial intelligence can provide diversity of views in companies’ boards of directors is controversial.
Considering the outcomes of studies which have proved bias and discrimination, our article supports the position that even if AI takes the decisions (as board members or enablers to assist board members), this will not reduce the need for board gender diversity. Thus, given the fact that artificial intelligence may make biased judgments, although we acknowledge that AI interference in board decisions is inevitable, this should not exclude or alter gender diversity policies and the incentives for more diverse boards should continue. It is reasonable to conclude that board diversity will be even more critical in situations where the company employs AI.
Although AI will benefit companies in many areas, in our opinion, AI, whether utilised as a director, in the election of directors or in the decision-making process, will not guarantee efficient company management. We believe that we have not reached the level where AI can take all decisions in companies. Human decision-makers are still indispensable on corporate boards. When there are human decision-makers a female perspective is essential for the quality of the decisions and social inclusivity. As a result, even if artificial intelligence is used effectively in selecting managers in companies, the gender quota should be preserved.
Muzaffer Eroğlu is Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Commercial Law Department, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey and can be reached at email@example.com.
Meltem Karatepe Kaya is Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Commercial Law Department, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.