News & Events: Press Releases

IEEE Launches Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems

Program will create specifications for certification and marking processes advancing transparency, accountability and reduction of algorithmic bias in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (A/IS)

PISCATAWAY, NJ, 2 October 2018 - IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) today announced the launch of the Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS). ECPAIS establishes one of the world’s first programs dedicated to the creation of an A/IS certification process and marking methodology supported by a global standards development organization.

ECPAIS intends to offer a process and define a series of marks by which organizations can seek certified A/IS products, systems and services. The program is highlighting the importance of public-private collaboration in advancing responsible use of A/IS, and launching with founding member organizations including Saidot.ai, Accenture, Combient, H5, Vega Systems, VERSES, City of Vienna, Finland’s Ministry of Finance and City of Espoo. Participation is open to all interested entities. The program will deal initially with matters of transparency, accountability and reduction of algorithmic bias.

“It becomes more and more evident that consumers and citizens of the world are expecting technology to conform with ethical principles beyond functionality,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of IEEE SA. “IEEE is one of the first global organizations to recognize the importance of certified accountability, transparency and reduction of algorithmic bias as being a critical enabler for A/IS value realization. This is also why the formation of ECPAIS complements the series of our IEEE P7000™ standard projects, along with all our A/IS Ethics work.”

The themes of accountability, transparency and reduction of algorithmic bias in A/IS will also form the central discussion themes of the upcoming European ministerial conference, AI Forum 2018 in Helsinki, where IEEE will participate in the roundtable discussion entitled “Algorithmic Transparency - How to Achieve It.”

“Today’s technology ecosystem calls for solutions that secure fair and transparent A/IS development, and Finland is at the forefront of key global efforts to move ethical A/IS from principles to pragmatism through close public-private partnership,” noted Meeri Haataja, chair of Ethics Working Group in Finland’s AI Program, and chair of ECPAIS. “Moving forward, A/IS need certifiable processes supported by a trusted organization that establishes easily identifiable marks, in order to signal high levels of reliability and safety to the general public. As chair of this groundbreaking IEEE program, I am honored to more broadly share and further incentivize Finland’s, and Europe’s, forward-thinking push to secure certifiably ethical A/IS.”

The ECPAIS Program Executive Committee will hold its first meeting in fall 2018 and plans to launch initial development of criteria and defined processes in 2019.

Interested parties can contact IEEE ECPAIS at ECPAIS_info@ieee.org or visit the ECPAIS web page for more information.

The IEEE P7000™ series of standards projects under development represent a unique addition to the collection of over 1,300 global IEEE standards and projects. Whereas more traditional standards have a focus on technology interoperability, safety and trade facilitation, the IEEE P7000 series addresses specific issues at the intersection of technological and ethical considerations. Like their technical-standards counterparts, the IEEE P7000 series is intended to empower innovation across borders and enable societal benefit.
 

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About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE SA has a portfolio of over 1,250 active standards and over 650 standards under development. For more information visit http://standards.ieee.org.

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.

 

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