The UK government, World Economic Forum and other stakeholders have collaborated to develop a set of guidelines for the responsible and ethical deployment of AI.

The World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution has created the Procurement in a Box toolkit, designed to help governments to procure artificial intelligence solutions.

At a time when many governments are investing in AI, the World Economic Forum has stated that there is now an opportunity to “establish a set of actionable procurement guidelines to enable good decisionmaking that can also be evaluated.”

The toolkit is intended to provide practical guidance on making responsible AI purchasing decisions through “concrete advice for purchasing, risk assessments, proposal drafting and evaluation” , with the aim of encouraging “the responsible deployment of AI solutions for the public benefit of constituents”.

The guidelines have been designed in collaboration with governments, small and large businesses, civil society and academia, including the Office for AI in the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Deloitte, Salesforce and Splunk.

It includes guidelines for government AI procurement, a workbook for policy and procurement officials, guidelines for conducting risk assessments for AI deployment and case studies.

This follows a report published in January by the Office for AI on building and using artificial intelligence in the public sector.

The Procurement in a Box toolkit has been used in AI procurement processes within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Food Standards Agency. It has also been used by NHSX, the technology, digital and data arm of the NHS.

“The UK is a global leader in AI and I am pleased we are working with the World Economic Forum and international partners to develop guidelines to ensure its safe and ethical deployment,” said Caroline Dinenage, digital minister, United Kingdom.

“By taking a dynamic approach we can boost innovation, create competitive markets and support public trust in artificial intelligence. I urge public sector organisations around the world to adopt these guidelines and consider carefully how they procure and deploy these technologies.”


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