NEWS8 December 2021

UK government sets out AI standards roadmap

AI News Public Sector Technology UK

UK – The UK’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has published a roadmap for building an “assurance ecosystem” for artificial intelligence (AI).

AI circuit board

The CDEI, a government body focused on ethical innovation in data and AI, said the roadmap would help the industry identify and mitigate the risks posed by AI and drive trustworthy adoption.

The roadmap was mandated by the UK’s National AI Strategy, which was published earlier in 2021.

There are six priorities highlighted in the roadmap, with the first being generating demand for reliable and effective assurance across the AI supply chain, improving understanding of risks, as well as accountability for mitigation.

The second is to build a dynamic, competitive AI assurance market, that provides a range of effective services and tools, and third is developing standards that provide a common language for AI assurance.

Fourth is building an accountable AI assurance profession to ensure that AI assurance services are also trustworthy and of a high quality, and fifth is supporting organisations to meet regulatory obligations by setting requirements that can be assured against.

The final priority is to improve links between industry and independent researchers, so that researchers can help develop assurance techniques and identify AI risks.

The CDEI will also work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Office for AI on piloting an AI Standards Hub, and will also partner with professional bodies and regulators in the UK on AI systems standards and requirements.

The CDEI is actively looking to partner with organisations to deliver on the roadmap.

Rumman Chowdhury, director of machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability at Twitter and member of the CDEI’s advisory board, said: “AI presents a myriad of opportunities, but there are a range of harms that need to be addressed if we are to seize them.

“We need a thriving ecosystem of assurance products and services that can check AI systems are trustworthy and beneficial to all.”

Chris Philp MP, minister for technology and the digital economy at the DCMS, said: “AI has the potential to transform our society and economy; and help us tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time. However, this will only be possible if we are able to manage the risks posed by AI and build public trust in its use.

“I’m delighted to see the CDEI’s roadmap published, and look forward to working with stakeholders, from standards bodies to professional services firms, to make the vision the CDEI has set out a reality.”