BSI calls for collaboration on Artificial Intelligence guidance to give industry clarity

1st October 2019

New BSI research reveals that guidance produced by international bodies, national governments and technology providers is disconnected and calls for consolidation of standards and regulatory consistency

Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents ethical and social challenges that require a global and standardized response, according to BSI, the business improvement company.

In its new white paper, Overview of standardization landscape in Artificial Intelligence, it reveals that guidance published by international bodies, national governments and technology providers includes disparate and repetitive advice.

It found that over 40 AI guidance papers had been published or developed over the last two-years, with international bodies, including the OECD, International Standards – ISO/IEC; national initiatives including ones in Singapore and the UAE; and global technology providers producing sometimes conflicting guidance.

Many of the papers provide guidance on the same core themes including safety, ethics and governance. The report suggests that technology policymakers and businesses people are unable to keep abreast of the guidance and are not able to navigate it easily.  

BSI is therefore calling for standard consolidation and regulatory consistency to avoid duplication of both the workload of producing the guidance, and the out-put papers.

Tim McGarr, Digital Sector Lead at BSI said: “With the rapid emergence and further development plans for AI, transparent and trustworthy ways of working will be central to the technology’s success. The paper shows the volume of standardisation, and standards-like activities, taking place across the international market. It aims to help the industry create consensus driven standards that will help us face the challenges ahead.  

“We are calling on the industry to come together to incorporate all voices into the governance of AI technologies. Now is the time for key stakeholders, including government, regulators, industry and consumers to engage in the standards development process. This will ensure that we can build a successful future for AI, which helps to protect citizens from unintended consequences of the disparate guidance.”

Milan Patel, Chair of the Committee which feeds the UK view into international standards from ISO/IEC added: “The white paper shows the scale of activities taking place across the industry to develop best practice in artificial intelligence. It highlights the need for multiple stakeholder collaboration on key standardization areas to aid trustworthy development and use of AI.”

Maria Axente, Responsible AI Driver at PwC UK and member of the UK Committee added: “We are delighted to support activity around AI standardisation at a time when its governance has become a top priority for decision makers. The white paper is a valuable resource for not only businesses and regulators, but also academia and researchers around the world. The ability of organisations to answer questions on reliability, accountability, alignment and controls will be a defining factor in realising the potential of AI while at the same time mitigating its potential risks.”

Download the white paper for free here