2. Data Governance

Publisher: The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence

The quality of the data sets used is paramount for the performance of the trained machine learning solutions. Even if the data is handled in a privacy preserving way, there are requirements that have to be fulfilled in order to have high quality AI. The datasets gathered inevitably contain biases, and one has to be able to prune these away before engaging in training. This may also be done in the training itself by requiring a symmetric behaviour over known issues in the training set. In addition, it must be ensured that the proper division of the data which is being set into training, as well as validation and testing of those sets, is carefully conducted in order to achieve a realistic picture of the performance of the AI system. It must particularly be ensured that anonymisation of the data is done in a way that enables the division of the data into sets to make sure that a certain data – for instance, images from same persons – do not end up into both the training and test sets, as this would disqualify the latter. The integrity of the data gathering has to be ensured. Feeding malicious data into the system may change the behaviour of the AI solutions. This is especially important for self learning systems. It is therefore advisable to always keep record of the data that is fed to the AI systems. When data is gathered from human behaviour, it may contain misjudgement, errors and mistakes. In large enough data sets these will be diluted since correct actions usually overrun the errors, yet a trace of thereof remains in the data. To trust the data gathering process, it must be ensured that such data will not be used against the individuals who provided the data. Instead, the findings of bias should be used to look forward and lead to better processes and instructions – improving our decisions making and strengthening our institutions.