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Standardization work of joint IEC and ISO committee highly relevant to EU AI Act
Date: 2023-12-22    Source:IEC   

Standards are key to meeting the requirements of the EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, and the work of the joint ISO and IEC committee for AI, SC 42, is highly valued, said the European Commission's Dr. Tatjana Evas.

Dr. Evas was speaking recently at the fourth ISO/IEC AI workshop held in December 2023.

"We very much value SC 42 standardization activities. AI technologies are global, and international standards enable global interoperability and help reduce costs for companies."

Her comments came on the eve of the provisional agreement by the European Council and Parliament on the proposal of harmonized rules on AI known as the EU AI Act. It is the world's first horizontal and legally binding AI product safety legislation and aims to ensure that AI systems in the EU market are safe and respect fundamental rights and values. The Act also aims to create a single market for trustworthy AI in the EU. It follows a risk-based approach, meaning the higher the risk, the stricter the rules.

Dr. Evas has been involved in the discussions and negotiations around the Act and is responsible for all the ongoing work on the development of AI standards and conformity assessment, market surveillance, cyber security and liability as well as relationship of the AI Act proposal with the sectoral legislation.

During her presentation at the event she said the Act details a number of requirements that AI systems need to fulfil to be used in the EU market, including a risk management system, governance and quality of datasets, transparency and information to AI users, human oversight and cyber security of AI systems and conformity assessment. The Commission has entrusted the European Committee for Standardization CEN/CENELAC to develop standards to support the requirements, she said, but international standards also play a significant role because international companies operating in the European market will need to comply.

"If a standard is recognized as harmonized and published in the EU official journal, companies can rely on it for presumption of conformity, and this presumption of conformity is very important. Which is why the European Commission is increasingly engaged in SC 42 work because the closer international standards are to the requirements, the more beneficial it is for companies."

SC 42 has recently published an international management system standard, ISO/IEC 42001, that is expected to help organizations comply with the EU AI Act and any future national, regional or international legislation related to responsible and trustworthy AI.

ISO/IEC 42001 helps organizations to develop, provide or use AI systems responsibly by providing guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an AI management system. Being a management system standard, it can be certified to, thus providing reassurance to governments and stakeholders that the requirements have been implemented correctly.

Chair of SC 42, Wael William Diab said that the international standards being developed by SC 42 are a kay part of the solution to enable broad responsible adoption of AI systems.

"Through its workshops, member participation and liaison partners, SC 42 has been fortunate to have a diverse set of stakeholders that include regulatory experts from across the world helping ensure that the international standards developed meet emerging global requirements," he said.

"Our ever-growing portfolio of standards will help to ensure we can reap the benefits of AI while simultaneously addressing ethical and trustworthiness issues."

SC 42 develops international standards for artificial intelligence. Its unique holistic approach considers the entire AI ecosystem, by looking at technology capability and non-technical requirements, such as business, regulatory and policy requirements, application domain needs, and ethical and societal concerns.

The committee organizes regular workshops on AI to discuss emerging trends, technology, requirements and applications as well as the role of standards. They bring together innovators at the frontier of AI development from diverse locations, sectors and backgrounds involved in research, deployment, standardization, startups, applications and oversight.

The fourth bi-annual ISO/IEC AI Workshop was held in December 2023 and featured experts in the fields of AI applications, beneficial AI, novel AI standardization approaches and emerging AI technology trends and requirements.

(Source: IEC)


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