Artificial Intelligence adoption could inch a notch higher following the passing of new global standards by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The passing of the new standards comes at a time of growing calls for AI-powered systems to be robust and safe as well as fair and trustworthy.

A study by Pew Research indicates that nearly two-thirds of AI experts expect AI to transform people’s way of life by 2030. However, a third fears that revolutionary technology will leave humanity worse off. It is for this reason that regulatory frameworks such as the guidelines passed by OECD are increasingly cropping up.

Château de la Muette, OCDE headquarters in Paris, France. Photo by: Patrick Janicek.

The new standards should go a long way in guaranteeing full protection of human rights as well as democratic values as per the rules of the land. The policy creators remain confident that the new standards will strengthen the regulatory framework and help avert unethical abuses.

The five principles will guide how governments as well as organizations and individuals design and ran AI systems. The ultimate goal is to put people’s interest first by ensuring designers and operators are always accountable whenever they come up with AI-powered systems.

OECD AI Principles

According to OECD, AI systems that come into being should benefit the people by guaranteeing inclusive growth and sustainable development. AI designers must adhere to the rule of law while guaranteeing human rights and democratic values with their new system. The principles also call for such systems to have a human intervention for correcting any errors that may arise.

Transparency is another attribute that any AI systems will have to come with, according to the new standards. In this case, designers must ensure there are responsible disclosures that allow people to know when they are interacting with AI systems.

The new standards also call for all AI systems to guarantee people’s privacy and security. Such systems must also be assessed from time to time to ensure that potential risks are dealt with accordingly.

Any individual or organization developing AI systems must ensure the proper functioning of their AI systems, according to the guidelines.

The set-out principles are a brainwork of a 50+ member group made up of representatives from 20 countries. The group also included leaders from various industries as well as academia and science communities
According to OECD Director of Science, Technology and Innovation Directorate, Andrew Wyckoff, the new principles will go a long way in shaping the artificial intelligence regulatory environment.

“AI is what we would call a ‘general purpose technology.’ It’s going to change the way we do things in nearly every single sector of the economy—that’s part of the reason we give so much importance to its development. Some have termed it as ‘the invention of a method of inventions,’ and in fact, we can see it already affecting the process of scientific discovery and science itself,” said Mr. Wyckoff.

Government Role On AI Development

Thirty-six countries led by the likes of Brazil, Australia, Argentina, the U.S, Romania, and Peru have already signed along, paving the way for the implementation of the standards on the national level. The OECD has since called the signatory countries to facilitate public and private investment in research and development, as a way of accelerating innovation around trustworthy artificial intelligence.

The governments have also been called upon to ensure AI ecosystems are as accessible as possible by providing proper digital infrastructure as well as technologies for sharing data and knowledge. Creation of a policy environment that ensures deployment of trustworthy AI is another role that governments will have to play.

Formulation of the new standards and governments committing to ensuring their implementation underscores how AI is finally becoming a vital component of the digital world.

The technology is increasingly transforming the way people live and work while also offering extraordinary benefits. However, there also ought to be a regulatory framework that ensures AI systems work in a way that respects the values and laws of the land while guaranteeing safety and privacy.


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