3. Scientific Integrity and Information Quality

The government’s regulatory and non regulatory approaches to AI applications should leverage scientific and technical information and processes. Agencies should hold information, whether produced by the government or acquired by the government from third parties, that is likely to have a clear and substantial influence on important public policy or private sector decisions (including those made by consumers) to a high standard of quality, transparency, and compliance. Consistent with the principles of scientific integrity in the rulemaking and guidance processes, agencies should develop regulatory approaches to AI in a manner that both informs policy decisions and fosters public trust in AI. Best practices include transparently articulating the strengths, weaknesses, intended optimizations or outcomes, bias mitigation, and appropriate uses of the AI application’s results. Agencies should also be mindful that, for AI applications to produce predictable, reliable, and optimized outcomes, data used to train the AI system must be of sufficient quality for the intended use.
Principle: Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Nov 17, 2020

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States

Related Principles

· Transparency and explainability

The transparency and explainability of AI systems are often essential preconditions to ensure the respect, protection and promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms and ethical principles. Transparency is necessary for relevant national and international liability regimes to work effectively. A lack of transparency could also undermine the possibility of effectively challenging decisions based on outcomes produced by AI systems and may thereby infringe the right to a fair trial and effective remedy, and limits the areas in which these systems can be legally used. While efforts need to be made to increase transparency and explainability of AI systems, including those with extra territorial impact, throughout their life cycle to support democratic governance, the level of transparency and explainability should always be appropriate to the context and impact, as there may be a need to balance between transparency and explainability and other principles such as privacy, safety and security. People should be fully informed when a decision is informed by or is made on the basis of AI algorithms, including when it affects their safety or human rights, and in those circumstances should have the opportunity to request explanatory information from the relevant AI actor or public sector institutions. In addition, individuals should be able to access the reasons for a decision affecting their rights and freedoms, and have the option of making submissions to a designated staff member of the private sector company or public sector institution able to review and correct the decision. AI actors should inform users when a product or service is provided directly or with the assistance of AI systems in a proper and timely manner. From a socio technical lens, greater transparency contributes to more peaceful, just, democratic and inclusive societies. It allows for public scrutiny that can decrease corruption and discrimination, and can also help detect and prevent negative impacts on human rights. Transparency aims at providing appropriate information to the respective addressees to enable their understanding and foster trust. Specific to the AI system, transparency can enable people to understand how each stage of an AI system is put in place, appropriate to the context and sensitivity of the AI system. It may also include insight into factors that affect a specific prediction or decision, and whether or not appropriate assurances (such as safety or fairness measures) are in place. In cases of serious threats of adverse human rights impacts, transparency may also require the sharing of code or datasets. Explainability refers to making intelligible and providing insight into the outcome of AI systems. The explainability of AI systems also refers to the understandability of the input, output and the functioning of each algorithmic building block and how it contributes to the outcome of the systems. Thus, explainability is closely related to transparency, as outcomes and ub processes leading to outcomes should aim to be understandable and traceable, appropriate to the context. AI actors should commit to ensuring that the algorithms developed are explainable. In the case of AI applications that impact the end user in a way that is not temporary, easily reversible or otherwise low risk, it should be ensured that the meaningful explanation is provided with any decision that resulted in the action taken in order for the outcome to be considered transparent. Transparency and explainability relate closely to adequate responsibility and accountability measures, as well as to the trustworthiness of AI systems.

Published by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Draft Text of The Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Nov 24, 2021

3. Scientific Integrity and Information Quality

The government’s regulatory and non regulatory approaches to AI applications should leverage scientific and technical information and processes. Agencies should hold information, whether produced by the government or acquired by the government from third parties, that is likely to have a clear and substantial influence on important public policy or private sector decisions (including those made by consumers) to a high standard of quality, transparency, and compliance. Consistent with the principles of scientific integrity in the rulemaking and guidance processes, agencies should develop regulatory approaches to AI in a manner that both informs policy decisions and fosters public trust in AI. Best practices include transparently articulating the strengths, weaknesses, intended optimizations or outcomes, bias mitigation, and appropriate uses of the AI application’s results. Agencies should also be mindful that, for AI applications to produce predictable, reliable, and optimized outcomes, data used to train the AI system must be of sufficient quality for the intended use.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Nov 17, 2020

6. Flexibility

When developing regulatory and non regulatory approaches, agencies should pursue performance based and flexible approaches that can adapt to rapid changes and updates to AI applications. Rigid, design based regulations that attempt to prescribe the technical specifications of AI applications will in most cases be impractical and ineffective, given the anticipated pace with which AI will evolve and the resulting need for agencies to react to new information and evidence. Targeted agency conformity assessment schemes, to protect health and safety, privacy, and other values, will be essential to a successful, and flexible, performance based approach. To advance American innovation, agencies should keep in mind international uses of AI, ensuring that American companies are not disadvantaged by the United States’ regulatory regime.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Nov 17, 2020

6. Flexibility

When developing regulatory and non regulatory approaches, agencies should pursue performance based and flexible approaches that can adapt to rapid changes and updates to AI applications. Rigid, design based regulations that attempt to prescribe the technical specifications of AI applications will in most cases be impractical and ineffective, given the anticipated pace with which AI will evolve and the resulting need for agencies to react to new information and evidence. Targeted agency conformity assessment schemes, to protect health and safety, privacy, and other values, will be essential to a successful, and flexible, performance based approach. To advance American innovation, agencies should keep in mind international uses of AI, ensuring that American companies are not disadvantaged by the United States’ regulatory regime.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Nov 17, 2020

3 Ensure transparency, explainability and intelligibility

AI should be intelligible or understandable to developers, users and regulators. Two broad approaches to ensuring intelligibility are improving the transparency and explainability of AI technology. Transparency requires that sufficient information (described below) be published or documented before the design and deployment of an AI technology. Such information should facilitate meaningful public consultation and debate on how the AI technology is designed and how it should be used. Such information should continue to be published and documented regularly and in a timely manner after an AI technology is approved for use. Transparency will improve system quality and protect patient and public health safety. For instance, system evaluators require transparency in order to identify errors, and government regulators rely on transparency to conduct proper, effective oversight. It must be possible to audit an AI technology, including if something goes wrong. Transparency should include accurate information about the assumptions and limitations of the technology, operating protocols, the properties of the data (including methods of data collection, processing and labelling) and development of the algorithmic model. AI technologies should be explainable to the extent possible and according to the capacity of those to whom the explanation is directed. Data protection laws already create specific obligations of explainability for automated decision making. Those who might request or require an explanation should be well informed, and the educational information must be tailored to each population, including, for example, marginalized populations. Many AI technologies are complex, and the complexity might frustrate both the explainer and the person receiving the explanation. There is a possible trade off between full explainability of an algorithm (at the cost of accuracy) and improved accuracy (at the cost of explainability). All algorithms should be tested rigorously in the settings in which the technology will be used in order to ensure that it meets standards of safety and efficacy. The examination and validation should include the assumptions, operational protocols, data properties and output decisions of the AI technology. Tests and evaluations should be regular, transparent and of sufficient breadth to cover differences in the performance of the algorithm according to race, ethnicity, gender, age and other relevant human characteristics. There should be robust, independent oversight of such tests and evaluation to ensure that they are conducted safely and effectively. Health care institutions, health systems and public health agencies should regularly publish information about how decisions have been made for adoption of an AI technology and how the technology will be evaluated periodically, its uses, its known limitations and the role of decision making, which can facilitate external auditing and oversight.

Published by World Health Organization (WHO) in Key ethical principles for use of artificial intelligence for health, Jun 28, 2021