S. Iswaran, the Minister for Communications and Information for Singapore, released the model governance framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The framework, a first of its kind in Asia, is aimed at providing detailed and easily executable guidance especially for private sector organizations that use AI.
This governance framework is being referred to as a "living document" that can keep pace with the evolving needs and changes in the digital economy. Today, there is technology that works on speech recognition, decision-making and language translation, among other ways in which it can function independent of human intelligence and impact human jobs.
Whether we look at the example of an online store that can utilize AI offerings to fully automate product recommendations based on browsing and buying history or a recruitment organization that uses AI to match the right candidate to an apt job, AI has permeated sectors across the world. There is, therefore, a need to ensure that certain basic agreed upon regulations are adhered to especially in a field so pervasive, dynamic and nuanced.
Singapore's model framework comes with two primary principles according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA):
• Firstly, that any decision made by or with the aid of AI need to be explicable, transparent and fair to consumers.
• And secondly, that the solutions for which AI is utilized need to be human-centric
Iswaran stated that, "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.”
The framework thus focuses on the basic ethical principles that AI needs to abide by in order to create an ecosystem that promotes trust, collaboration and transparency. Whether it is Assimov’s rules of robotics or this guiding governance for AI, with the massive leaps in technology, it seems necessary to have certain rules in place that serve as roots on which further evolution can flourish.