Asia Business Channel

Singapore releases Asia’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Governance Framework


Singapore has released Asia’ first Model Artificial Intelligence (AI) Governance Framework at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, held from January 22~25, for public consultation, pilot adoption and feedback. The model framework, builds on earlier guidelines detailed in a paper released in June 2018 by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The framework is the first in Asia to provide detailed and readily implementable guidance to private sector organisations using AI, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, S. Iswaran, described AI as the future and said, “This is the future. It has the potential to affect many sectors in a very profound way and we want to make sure Singapore is prepared for that.” He added that the framework was being released at the WEF because it is a forum where Singapore has always had a certain mind share. Singapore will be able to get global feedback on the framework because of the attendees at the event.

Guidelines for organisations using AI

This Model Framework is the first in Asia to provide detailed and readily implementable guidance to private organisations on how to address ethical and governance issues when using AI solutions. It is an evolving document, which aims to adapt to the fast-paced changes in this digital environment and expected to continue to develop as it is being used.

The two main principles of this Model Framework are to help organisations ensure that:

(1) Decisions made by or with the assistance of AI are explainable, transparent and fair to consumers

(2) AI solutions are human-centric

This in turn enhances trust in and understanding of AI, as well as acceptance by the public on how AI-related decisions are made for the benefit of users. The Model maps out the key ethical principles and practices that apply to common AI deployment processes in four areas:

1. Internal governance structures and measures

2. Risk management in autonomous decision-making

3. Operations management

4. Customer relationship management

Mr. V. K. Rajah S C, Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data said “The Model Framework provides practical guidance to organisations deploying AI at scale to do so with good internal governance and in an ethical manner. The Advisory Council encourages businesses to pilot the Model Framework and provide feedback from their implementation experience. We look forward to reviewing the comments from the public consultation and proposing improvements in the next edition.”

Singapore also announced collaboration with the WEF’s ‘Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (C4IR) to further drive AI and data innovation.

Murat Sonmez, Managing Director and Head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, said, “Singapore is focused on innovation and technology. As the country develops forward-looking technology policies, we welcome them as a partner of the Centre Network. We are looking forward to their contribution to our network for global technology governance.”

Singapore’s IMDA released a statement that said: “Singapore aims to advance its vision to be a leading Digital Economy and Smart Nation, continually embracing digital transformation and reinventing itself to remain globally competitive. The Model Framework is part of Singapore’s efforts to do so through investing and building capabilities in AI.”




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