Dubai Executive Council endorses Smart Dubai Department’s 'Ethical AI Guidelines’

The Smart Dubai Department launched the Ethical AI Guidelines to enhance government services and promote the adoption of AI-based solutions.


DUBAI- The Smart Dubai Department reported that its Ethical AI Self-Assessment Tool has been used across 18 use cases in the emirate, including 15 initiatives by the Roads and Transport Authority and three AI Lab use cases developed with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Dubai Health Authority, and Dubai Customs.

The Smart Dubai Department launched the Ethical AI Guidelines to enhance government services and promote the adoption of AI-based solutions. Dr. Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Department, said, "AI is gathering momentum around the world, with credible studies predicting the sector could contribute US$15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030.

The UAE has long led the region and much of the world in embracing and employing AI, from appointing a Minister of State for AI to the launch of the ambitious UAE Strategy for AI."

"While there is an unofficial consensus that an AI regulation is needed, the field is not mature enough to devise fixed rules or laws to govern it. This is where our Ethical AI Toolkit comes in with its guidelines and the Ethical AI Self-Assessment Tool. Setting clear guidelines and principles on the ethical use of AI will prevent a fragmented approach to ethics," Dr Aisha added.

Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director-General of Smart Dubai Department and CEO of Smart Dubai Data, said, "As more of our everyday tasks get automated, more AI-powered breakthroughs and services are in the pipeline. This large-scale proliferation of a once niche and experimental technology calls for setting principles to regulate and guide the sector."

"The Guidelines and the Ethical AI Self-Assessment Tool were developed for that particular purpose – to create consistency and avoid having every entity set its own rules," Al Nasser added. The Roads and Transport Authority was the first government entity to adopt Smart Dubai’s Ethical AI Toolkit, making it mandatory for all of its AI-powered systems. The Smart Dubai Department’s AI Lab uses the Ethical AI Self-Assessment Tool across all the projects it has under development. Since its launch in January 2019, the Ethical AI Guidelines and the Self-Assessment Tool registered a total of 17,178 visits across all Ethical AI Guidelines pages on the Smart Dubai Department’s official website.

The tool sheds light on numerous issues related to the ethical use of AI, including the need to understand the quality and accuracy of the data that feed the algorithms used in AI; how to be transparent and explain highly complex forms of AI to people who are affected by the decisions they make; and how to insert ethics into the professional development of AI developers so they create safe, fair, and responsible AI systems. The new figures were revealed at a meeting of the AI Ethics Advisory Board, where members discussed and finalised the future direction of the Smart Dubai Data team’s efforts to promote safe and ethical AI applications in 2020.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.

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