Trust: Providing a framework for ethical AI

A majority of APEC member economies already have a plan, policy, or program specifically devoted to driving or supporting AI ecosystems. While their approaches differ, they generally strive to stimulate AI development to the benefit of their economy, while preparing society for the potential changes that may be brought about by AI.

For the widest adoption of AI, people must have confidence they can trust the technology. Ethical AI development and responsible AI use have emerged as key concerns, particularly as more AI-enabled devices, platforms, and services leverage citizens’ and consumers’ data.

At the trilateral level, APEC economies Singapore, Chile, and New Zealand signed the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) in June 2020, which promotes the adoption of ethical AI governance frameworks and aims to create consensus on governance and ethics principles in AI systems used across borders as part of one of the digital trade ‘modules’.

Other initiatives for designing and implementing ethics-related AI plans in APEC economies include: 

  • Australia’s several government-led ethics frameworks and principles, as well as proposed standards for responsible AI.
  • Canada’s Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence supports the commercial and industrial rise of AI while mitigating social, political, or ethical risks. 
  • Singapore’s Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data has published documents on responsible data collection for AI adoption, while the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released its own fairness, ethics, accountability, and transparency (FEAT) principles to promote responsible AI in finance.  
  • The Republic of Korea’s Mid to Long Term Master Plan in Preparation for the Intelligent Information Society is anchored on the concept of a human-centered intelligent information society, and there are plans to develop a Charter of Ethics for developers and users of intelligent technologies.