The intent of AI is to enable computers to perform tasks that require human intelligence, as such AI will evolve to take many jobs once performed by humans. AI in the late 1980’s through the late 1990’s was identified as a multidisciplinary science, which included expert systems, machine learning (neural networks), robotics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech Recognition and Virtual Reality. This multidisciplinary aspect of AI enabled AI to make inroads into industries such as healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, and the military. The most recent focus on AI is concerned with the implementation of Machine Learning (ML) Algorithms. ML algorithms is where we have taken more notice of the ethical and bias challenges faced with implementing AI applications. Leveraging a global AI standard will assist organizations in consistently addressing ethical, bias and trustworthiness in the implementation of AI applications.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) AI Standard

The OECD, Recommendation of the Council on Artificial Intelligence, OECD/LEGAL/0449; is indicated as the first intergovernmental standard on AI, was proposed by the Committee and on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and adopted on May 22, 2019. The International Standard for AI as proposed by the OECD. This standard lays out general tenants for AI implementation that is focused on ethical  adherence and the adherence to the well-being of humanity. This is an interesting read in that it identifies the countries involved and the fact that countries and institutions of higher learning on AI (i.e., MIT) contributed to the standard.

The OECD recommends that governments:

  • Facilitate public and private investment in research & development to spur innovation in trustworthy AI.
  • Foster accessible AI ecosystems with digital infrastructure and technologies, and mechanisms to share data and knowledge.
  • Create a policy environment that will open the way to deployment of trustworthy AI systems.
  • Equip people with the skills for AI and support workers to ensure a fair transition.
  • Co-operate across borders and sectors to share information, develop standards and work towards responsible stewardship of AI.

In summary, they state that:

AI should benefit people and the planet by driving inclusive growth, sustainable development and well-being.

AI systems should be designed in a way that respects the rule of law, human rights, democratic values and diversity, and they should include appropriate safeguards –  for example, enabling human intervention where necessary – to ensure a fair and just society.

There should be transparency and responsible disclosure around AI systems to ensure that people understand when they are engaging with them and can challenge outcomes.

AI systems must function in a robust, secure and safe way throughout their lifetimes, and potential risks should be continually assessed and managed.

Organizations and individuals developing, deploying or operating AI systems should be held accountable for their proper functioning in line with the above principles.

About the OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

From their website the OECD states that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. Our goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. We draw on almost 60 years of experience and insights to better prepare the world of tomorrow.

Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, we work on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, we provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting

With thirty-seven (37) member countries from North and South America to Europe and Asia-Pacific, they engage with our experts, based on data and analysis to inform policy decisions,  and play a key role in country reviews. The OECD brings together Member countries and a range of partners that collaborate on key global issues at national, regional and local levels. Through our standards, programs and initiatives, we  help drive and anchor reform in more than 100 countries around the world, building on our collective wisdom and shared values.

For more on the OECD and the AI Standard go to: OECD OECD AI Policy Observatory

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