AI Institute Announces Launch of First AI Certification Pilot

When most people hear the words “Artificial Intelligence” or AI, they conjure visions of the Skynet sending the T-1000, or the hosts of Westworld stealing our thoughts and our place.

In reality, it's much less the creepiness of Ex Machina and closer to the mundaneness of Facebook chat bots. We live in a very technological time where AI is growing every day. New inventions and concepts are being developed with the latest technology. This is not just in our country, but all over the world.

Responsible AI Institute (RAII), located in Austin, Texas, is one of the leading non-profits dedicated to independent AI assessments and certifications. The company’s partnership with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) was to launch its first-of-its-kind pilot to determine requirements for developing a conformity assessment program for AI management systems.

“As a result of this pilot, organizations will have clear guidance on how to establish, define and implement responsible AI practices in alignment with emerging regulations and standards, best-in-class research, and existing human rights-based laws and frameworks,” says Ashley Casovan, Executive Director of Responsible AI Institute.

Since this announcement, it has been noted that EY (Ernst & Young LLP) is the first conformity assessment body participating in this milestone for Responsible AI.

“We’re proud to be participating in this pilot to showcase our dedication to trusted AI management systems,” says Cathy Cobey, EY Canada Canadian Technology Risk Leader. “Our purpose of building a better working world drives us to provide strategic insights and quality services that help build trust and confidence in advanced technology. We’re looking forward to working with SCC to expand our offerings to include an AI management system certification that will build confidence in AI in Canada and around the world.”

EY will play a vital role in this program during the standardization process, in which they will leverage the AIMS draft standard to certify the management system of an AI developer/user. In addition, the SCC will oversee as they test the application of these requirements and see their activities and progress develop an effective accreditation program for conformity assessment bodies.

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What Does This Matter?

Consumers and businesses are far more likely to use, trust, and engage with technology if they know it’s developed and used responsibly. As companies deploy AI systems for functions ranging from credit scoring to hiring, there is an increasing need for Responsible AI practices that can mitigate risks and promote safety, fairness, explainability, and other considerations and values.

Yet implementations can be challenging without support or benchmarks. RAII’s Certification Program provides that guidance and a standard on implementing AI responsibility, filling a gap in the market today. This pilot marks a massive step in moving the Certification Program forward.

Responsible AI Institute has been working on this for the last three years. It has been working with leading corporations, researchers, industry experts, international organizations, and government officials to develop and validate an effective way to evaluate the responsibility of AI systems.

The SCC will lead this pilot and will share its results with industry partners such as conformity assessment bodies and peer countries active within the International Accreditation Forum. This will include ANSI (US) and UKAS (UK).

The pilot will leverage the ISO’s AI Management System standard (ISO 42001), currently under development, to provide an AI Management System Accreditation Program in Canada.

“Standardization is one of the main pillars of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy,” says Chantal Guay, SCC CEO. “Standards and conformity assessment provide the assurance and trust that products and services meet all requirements, which will help drive innovation and the adoption of novel AI technologies in support of this national strategy. This project will help us define the requirements for developing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving AI management systems.”

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About Responsible AI Institute

Responsible AI Institute (RAII) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on advancing responsible AI from principles to practice through community-driven, independent AI assessments and certifications. RAI tools have been among the first to demonstrate how to expand opportunities with AI while minimizing harm to people and the planet.

The Standards Council of Canada

As the country’s leading accreditation organization, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) works with a vast network of partners nationally and around the world, acting as Canada’s voice on guidelines and accreditation on the international stage, including as a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

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