Dr. Birgul Cotelli, President Groupement des Compliance Officers de Suisse Romande et du Tessin (GCO), shares her insight around why risk professionals must get to grips with augmented risks

Dr. Birgul Cotelli, President Groupement des Compliance Officers de Suisse Romande et du Tessin (GCO) and Senator for Switzerland at World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), is speaking at the Risk-!n conference  on May 30-31 in Switzerland.

Ahead of her session, StrategicRISK caught up with her to find out what she would be discussing and why risk managers should attend.

Innovation Artificial Intelligence

What are augmented risks - and why should risk managers care about them?

Dr. Birgul Cotelli: Any risk decision making in business comes with positive and negative impacts. This is always the case in our daily lives too, is not that the case?

In business, it starts with making the right technological shift. Is the organization ready, do we have the right skills in place, do we have the right foundation and infrastructure to embrace technology?

Then, the pace of innovation adoption is important. Moving too quickly sometimes leads to unintended consequences.

While trying to achieve operational efficiency, cost cutting, trying to do better, are we truly doing better? Are we preserving the current benefits, gains, assets? We need to ask those questions and find the best balances in adopting the relevant technology.

The impact of a risky decision may have positive or negative consequences. If the latter outweighs the former, we would be talking about augmented risks.

Your session is about the exposures that risk professionals might miss thanks to “innovation hype” around new technologies - can you give a couple of examples that demonstrate these threats?

Dr. Birgul Cotelli: Operations glitches and data security concerns are a couple of examples.

The right pace of technology adoption, as mentioned, is not too fast and not too slow. It is very important to make the right technology investments, in the right investment amounts, at the right time, and at the right pace.

Another example is quantum computing. This provides a good example of a technology with great promise but with new security risks of overwhelming current encryption protocols.

Risk managers need to assess the risks associated with different technologies: e.g. the cloud, AI, blockchain, IoT for interoperability and other new technologies.

Risk managers can help [the companies they work for] by advocating the right balances. Also, Risk managers need to upskill their own technology skills, be more aware, and engage with their businesses around technology risks early enough.

You’re going to share tools and techniques to see through this hype, can you give me an example of one such technique and how it might be used?

Some of the key risks to consider:

  • Privacy and protection of consumer data in the cloud is one of the most obvious examples.
  • Generative AI is another one, creating deepfake risks.
  • Cyber attacks.
  • Ethical and legal concerns, we can keep going.

Tools and techniques:

For instance, let’s take GenAI. Interactions between humans and technology play an essential role to source, feed, learn, unlearn, relearn, and then create (this is GenAI and how it works).

We then need to build up the skills to deal with these human technology problems, and new forms of education across disciplines.

Policy-makers need to establish guidance on safety principles for AI procurement and legislate for AI safety across sectors, encouraging responsible technology development and deployment methods.

Why should people come to the Risk-!n conference and your session?

This is an amazing community of professionals and experts gathering around the sensitive risk management topic, which is the art of safe navigation around undesirable predictable and unpredictable business outcomes.

Many verticals are covered at Risk-!n under those aspects. This is the place to be.

To find out more about the conference, or to register to attend, visit the Risk-!n website.

Dr Birgul Cotelli is an expert in risk and compliance fields and an upskilled professional in the technology and innovation topics.

As a seasoned and independent consultant in financial services, she advises companies and NGOs to build a balanced mix of innovative solutions and deliver on their commitments to their stakeholders. 

She is an international speaker on the topics of science, technology, innovation, AI-driven risk and compliance at international professional events. 

She started her career as a Risk and Compliance Director in global banks at their First and Second Lines of Defense functions before becoming an advisor.