The Office for Artificial Intelligence (AI) has just published draft guidelines to streamline AI procurement in the public sector. The UK is the first country to lay down guidelines for this type of procurement and it is anticipated that in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the same guidelines will be rolled out globally.
The UK’s AI systems’ procurement guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
The government has made it clear that there are definitive reasons to have guidelines when it comes to AI procurement across the public sector.
The market is a fast-paced one, but still in the nascent stage. Hence, AI technology is rapidly changing, and this creates a lot of uncertainty.
At the same time, since artificial intelligence is a new technology, there are no standards and benchmarks. As a result, there is nobody to accredit products, nor is there a standard for creating draft contracts. At the moment, the government does not have a way of balancing innovation and risk.
However, one of the main reasons for publishing guidelines for artificial procurement is to ensure that the AI systems are used in an ethical manner.
The UK government has acknowledged that the guidelines need to be improved with time and development of AI technology, but the aim is to ensure that the public sector should not view this technology as a way to fix political and social issues.
Instead, the technology needs to used to identify a problem and then users should delve deep to determine why and how artificial intelligence can help rectify that problem. At the same time, users should also be open to using non-artificial intelligence solutions if they are available.
The guidelines also cover the lifecycle management of artificial intelligence. Users from the public sector who want to procure AI systems will now have to focus on the management of the systems and technology and weigh their pros and cons before they opt for it.
It is anticipated that the guidelines will help the AI industry set norms that conform to the needs and requirements of the government.