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Singapore Computer Society launches AI ethics and governance reference guide

The Singapore Computer Society (SCS) launched an AI Ethics & Governance Body of Knowledge (AI E&G BoK) on 16 October 2020 at SCS’s virtual Tech3 Forum, graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information.

Supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the BoK is based on the IMDA’s second edition (Jan 2020) of the Model AI Governance Framework that was first unveiled at the World Economic Forum in 2019. This BoK is an industry-led effort to provide a reference document for business leaders, ICT professionals and PMETs on the ethical aspects related to the development and deployment of AI technologies.

AI is increasingly being embedded into digital solutions to boost innovation, productivity and business transformation models. As such, there is a crucial need to infuse ethics into the designing and implementation of such AI solutions that impact decision-making.

Constructed based on the efforts of SCS and the collective expertise of over 60 professionals and thought leaders from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, the BoK aims to provide guidance to companies, professionals and business leaders on how to deploy AI in a responsible, ethical and human-centric manner for competitive advantage.

The BoK incorporates use cases to illustrate both the positive and negative outcomes of AI adoption, emphasising on the technology’s ability to build and sustain a safe ecosystem when it is utilised properly. Designed as a “living document”, it will be continually updated to remain relevant as the digital landscape rapidly evolves.

“The focal point is the individual who is using or affected by AI. It is not merely the technology and methodologies, but the human that should be at the centre of our analysis and decision-making. Around this core are secondary principles and values, such as auditability and robustness, that help us achieve this core set of putative global norms for ethical AI,” said Dr Chong Yoke Sin, President of Singapore Computer Society.

In addition to the BoK launch, SCS and NTU are also announcing their collaboration to introduce an AI Ethics & Governance certification course for professionals. To be launched next year, the objective of the course is to train and certify a pool of professionals who can assist and advise organisations on AI Ethics & Governance. This certification course will be incorporated into an upcoming MiniMasters programme in AI and AI Ethics offered by NTU Singapore.

“With AI playing an increasingly pivotal role in digital solutions, there is a need to look at the ethics behind the development and deployment of such AI solutions. The new MiniMasters in AI and AI Ethics plugs this gap by helping participants understand and solve problems brought about by the impact of AI. This collaboration leverages NTU’s strength in AI in research and education and the collective expertise of SCS’ network of industry experts, and will benefit university graduates and IT professionals who wish to build their micro-credentials in the AI industry,” said Professor Ling San, NTU Deputy President and Provost.

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