Gary Born on the Importance of AI


In December 2016, Gary Born gave a keynote at the CIArb Young Members Group Annual Conference in London. His speech focused on the importance of AI as a resource for young and aspiring arbitrators, and more generally for the legitimacy crisis in international arbitration.

In a wide-ranging assessment of the system, Born noted the challenges for young arbitrators to secure their first arbitral appointment and the informational advantages that large law firms have in obtaining information about arbitrators.

As in earlier lectures, Born explained that “Winter is Coming” to international commercial arbitration as its fairness and legitimacy are being challenged. Born suggests that the problem of information asymmetries can be resolved by Arbitrator Intelligence.

Born noted that the idea of AI initially fell on hostile ears from those who seemed to believe that international arbitration might remain indefinitely an old boys’ club. AI will instead broaden and level the playing field for new participants.

Born also noted that, when AI soon releases its “Arbitrator Intelligence Questionnaire,” counsel and arbitrators should participate because transparency and inclusiveness are irresistible movements, and failure to participate in it would result in being left behind.

In a question session, one audience member questioned the appointment of arbitrators by arbitral institutions and the transparency and awareness they have given their experience. Born responded, “Speaking from my own experience, there’s no centralized database one has at an institution that includes the sort of information that would exist in Arbitrator Intelligence.” AI, therefore, will not only be useful for parties in selecting arbitrators, but also institutions.