International Technology Law Association releases Responsible AI Policy Framework

On May 23, 2019, the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw) released Responsible AI: A Global Policy Framework, an in-depth review that proposes ethical guideposts to encourage the responsible development, deployment, and use of artificial intelligence. The publication launches a 90-day public comment period to gather stakeholder feedback and accelerate international dialogue on responsible AI in anticipation of a second edition later this year.

The Global Policy Framework represents a call to action for stakeholders, including the general public, to actively participate in a dialogue regarding the component features of responsible AI. The framework is comprised of eight principles including:

  1. Ethical Purpose and Societal Benefit

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use should require the purposes of such implementation to be identified and ensure that such purposes are consistent with the overall ethical purposes of beneficence and non-maleficence, as well as the other principles of the Policy Framework for Responsible AI.

  1. Accountability

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use shall respect and adopt the eight principles of this Policy Framework for Responsible AI (or other analogous accountability principles). In all instances, humans should remain accountable for the acts and omissions of AI systems.

  1. Transparency and Explainability

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use shall ensure that, to the extent reasonable given the circumstances and state of the art of the technology, such use is transparent and that the decision outcomes of the AI system are explainable.

  1. Fairness and Non-Discrimination

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use shall ensure the non-discrimination of AI outcomes, and shall promote appropriate and effective measures to safeguard fairness in AI use.

  1. Safety and Reliability

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use shall adopt design regimes and standards ensuring high safety and reliability of AI systems on one hand while limiting the exposure of developers and deployers on the other hand.

  1. Open Data and Fair Competition

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use shall promote (a) open access to datasets which could be used in the development of AI systems and (b) open source frameworks and software for AI systems. AI systems must be developed and deployed on a “compliance by design” basis in relation to competition/antitrust law.

  1. Privacy

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems and any national laws that regulate such use shall endeavour to ensure that AI systems are compliant with privacy norms and regulations, taking into account the unique characteristics of AI systems, and the evolution of standards on privacy.

  1. AI and Intellectual Property

Organisations that develop, deploy or use AI systems should take necessary steps to protect the rights in the resulting works through appropriate and directed application of existing intellectual property rights laws. Governments should investigate how AI‑authored works may be further protected, without seeking to create any new IP right at this stage.

All stakeholders including industry representatives, policy-makers, researchers, and general public are invited to read the publication and its accompanying draft policy framework and then submit feedback at www.itechlaw.org/ResponsibleAI by September 15. Comments also may be emailed to [email protected].

For more information on McCarthy Tétrault’s expertise in AI and related fields please see our Cybersecurity Privacy & Data Management group page.

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