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IEEE Invites Companies, Governments and Other Stakeholders Globally to Expand on Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS) Work

ECPAIS begins next phase of efforts promoting responsible innovation in the algorithmic age

PISCATAWAY, NJ, 26 February 2020 – IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) today announced completion of the first phase of work of The Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS), for the purpose of developing critical certification criteria for responsible innovation and delivery of autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS). The AI Ethics oriented certification criteria, created by a trusted expert body of peers in ECPAIS Phase I, are focused on transparency, accountability and algorithmic bias. They are intended to enable cities and public and private organizations in diverse vertical industries, such as healthcare and medical devices, financial services, automotive, manufacturing and elder services, to identify themselves as being trustworthy and beneficial in their use of A/IS products, services and systems they develop or operate. The three criteria will be shared with participants working on Phase II of ECPAIS.

Companies, governments, public bodies and other interested stakeholders globally are invited to contact IEEE to engage in the second phase of ECPAIS work by leading initiatives applying any of the three certification criteria in vertical industries, developing proofs of concept and/or helping to define ways to implement the criteria. The second phase of ECPAIS work will focus on these attributes and approaches, providing the basis to be applied in overall design frameworks for A/IS and leading toward trustworthy deployed systems in business-to-business, -consumer and -government environments.

“When launched, ECPAIS became one of the world’s first programs dedicated to the creation of an A/IS certification criteria and marking program supported by a global standards-development organization,” said Meeri Haataja, chair of ECPAIS. “Now, a little more than a year later, we have delivered the three certification criteria and are reaching out to first movers and innovators globally to help apply responsible innovation in the algorithmic age utilizing ECPAIS criteria in their specific contexts.”

When released in Fall of 2020 as a service offering, companies can apply ECPAIS to demonstrate to their customers, employees and the general public their validated commitment toward building trust in their A/IS. Governments can also use the certification criteria to inform policy and help explain to the public how they are using A/IS.

“We see great value in what ECPAIS is developing in the important field of ethics for autonomous intelligent systems. We think the results of the first phase of the program are very promising,” said Dr. Dietmar Schabus, data scientist with Wiener Stadtwerke, Austria’s largest communal infrastructure provider, which is owned by the City of Vienna. “Vienna is among the most successful cities worldwide where quality of life, infrastructure and innovation are concerned, and our aim is to hold this position in times to come. As a city that’s very human-centric and digitally enabled, we see the work on ethical aspects of A/IS such as ECPAIS as fundamental to this strategy.”

Insights from both the first and second phase of ECPAIS work also are informing the development of a new service offering from IEEE to be released in fall 2020. Services provided are expected to include consultation and a quality mark to organizations wishing to demonstrate their due diligence toward fostering transparency and accountability and addressing algorithmic bias in A/IS. Companies, governments and other interested stakeholders globally are invited to contact IEEE to engage in the second phase of ECPAIS or to request further information about the IEEE service offering to be released in fall 2020.

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About the IEEE Standards Association

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