Friday, April 19, 2024

Singapore Launches Foundation to Shape AI standards

At the ATxAI conference, a part of Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG), Mrs Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information announced the launch of the AI Verify Foundation to harness the collective power and contributions of the global open source community to develop AI testing tools for the responsible use of AI.

The Foundation will look to boost AI testing capabilities and assurance to meet the needs of companies and regulators globally. Seven pioneering premier members – the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Aicadium (Temasek’s AI Centre of Excellence), IBM, Microsoft, Google, Red Hat and Salesforce will guide the strategic directions and development of AI Verify roadmap. As a start, the Foundation will have also have more than 60 general members such as Adobe, DBS, Meta, SenseTime and Singapore Airlines.

Building the Foundation for Trustworthy AI

The launch of AI Verify Foundation will support the development and use of AI Verify to address risks of AI. AI Verify is an AI governance testing framework and software toolkit. first developed by IMDA in consultation with companies from different sectors and different scales. The Foundation will help to foster an open-source community to contribute to AI testing frameworks, code base, standards and best practices and create a neutral platform for open collaboration and idea-sharing on testing and governing AI.

Launched as a minimum viable product for international pilot last year, AI Verify attracted the interest of over 50 local and multinational companies including IBM, Dell, Hitachi and UBS. AI Verify is now available to the open source community and will benefit the global community by providing a testing framework and toolkit that is consistent with internationally recognised AI governance principles, e.g., those from EU, OECD, and Singapore. The AI Verify toolkit provides an integrated interface to generate testing reports that covers different governance principles for an AI system. It enables companies to be more transparent about their AI by sharing these reports with their stakeholders.

The need for collective effort to advance AI testing globally

IMDA built AI Verify to help organisations objectively demonstrate responsible AI through standardised tests. However, AI testing technologies albeit growing, are still nascent. There is a need to crowd in the best expertise from across industry and research community to develop this area.

While recognising the potential risks of AI, Minister Teo noted that the government cannot do it alone.

“The private sector with their expertise can participate meaningfully to achieve these goals with us,” she added.

She also assured that, amidst very real fears and concerns about AI’s development, “we will need to actively steer AI towards beneficial uses and away from bad ones.”

“This is core to how Singapore thinks about AI,” she added.

Pathways for Policymakers for Generative AI

IMDA and Aicadium have published a discussion paper to share Singapore’s approach to building an ecosystem for trusted and responsible adoption of Generative AI, in a way that spurs innovation and tap on its opportunities. The paper seeks to enhance discourse and invite like-minded partners from around the world to work with Singapore to ensure that Generative AI can be trusted and used in a safe and responsible manner.

The paper identifies six key risks that have emerged from Generative AI as well as a systems approach to enable a trusted and vibrant ecosystem. The approach provides an initial framework for policy makers to (i) strengthen the foundation of AI governance provided by existing frameworks to address the unique characteristic of Generative AI, (ii) address immediate concerns and (iii) invest for longer- term governance outcomes. The specific ideas (e.g. shared responsibility framework, disclosure standards) also seek to foster global interoperability, regardless of whether they are adopted as hard or soft laws.

The full Discussion Paper can be downloaded here.

Visit https://aiverifyfoundation.sg

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