The Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS)

Developing metrics and processes towards the implementation of a certification methodology
addressing transparency, accountability and algorithmic bias

The goal of The Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS) is to  create specifications for certification and marking processes that advance transparency, accountability and reduction in algorithmic bias in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (AIS). 

The value of this certification process in the marketplace and society at large cannot be underestimated.  The proliferation of systems in the form of smart homes, companion robots, autonomous vehicles or any myriad of products and services that already exist today desperately need to easily and visually communicate to consumers and citizens whether they are deemed “safe” or “trusted” by a globally recognized body of experts providing a publicly available and transparent series of marks.



Contact Tracing Applications and Contact Tracing Technologies (CTA/CTT) stand to benefit from broader adoption through greater ethical transparency, accountability, and privacy.

Demonstrated through the ECPAIS CTA/CTT use case, and in an effort to operationalize the sometimes ambiguous concept of “ethics” so that it can inform CTA/CTT systems throughout their life cycles, IEEE SA convened a multidisciplinary team of experts that has identified and contextually defined three key dimensions pertinent to ethical verification of CTA/CTT ecosystems comprising:

  • Transparency: Full disclosure, and comprehensibility to a person of traditional education and experience, of inputs, process, outputs, and outcomes of activities in the ecosystem of CTA/CTT

  • Accountability: Holding organizations and people behind entities in the integrated system of CTA/CTT to fulfil ethical obligations (as set forth in these criteria) for their roles and decisions that impact the inputs, process, outputs, and outcomes.

  • Privacy: The private sphere of life and public identity of an entity (individual, group, community), upholding their dignity. 

We Welcome Your Expertise and Feedback
This use case exhibits an initial set of the ECPAIS criteria applied to CTA/CTT. Realizing that the use case and, consequently the criteria by proxy, may be improved with input from a larger set of experts spanning wide and relevant domains, we are asking for your views and input. From legal, medical, ethical, technical, psychological, societal, governance, to cybersecurity – and beyond, all perspectives are welcome. 

Your feedback will be taken into consideration in the next update to the CTA/CTT ethics verification criteria use case. These criteria will help set the foundation for future ethics certification programs that testing agencies, implementers, and committed ecosystem stakeholders may seek to apply.

Get Involved

We invite you to join experts that span the fields of engineering, law, science, economics, ethics, philosophy, politics, and health in this work. ECPAIS is global, open and inclusive, welcoming all individuals or representatives of organizations dedicated advancing technology for humanity by building best practices for A/IS transparency and accountability. Key experts would include but not limited to:

  • Specialists developing AIS based products and services
  • Academic institution experts in AIS
  • Government organizations involved with AIS policy and/or regulations

Initiative Outcomes

ECPAIS intends to offer a process and define a series of marks by which organizations can seek certifications for the processes around the AIS products, systems, and services they provide.

The Program will operate in an industry driven and iterative process for developing certifications / marks for AIS. ECPAIS’s goal is to enable work in cycles of development and industry validation, and deliver the following outcomes:

  • Criteria and process for a Certification / mark focused on Transparency in AIS
  • Criteria and process for a Certification / mark focused on Accountability in AIS
  • Criteria and process for a Certification / mark focused on Algorithmic Bias in AIS

How to Participate:

Participation in this program requires IEEE SA Corporate Membership. The following link provides details about the IEEE SA membership program, and information on how to register for corporate membership. All interested participants must complete the membership process by March 31, 2019 to maintain participation rights for this program. Register here for IEEE SA Corporate Membership.


Existing IEEE SA Corporate Members may participate by contacting Corporate Membership.

For other inquiries please contact