New ISO/IEC 42001 standard to help build trust in AI

After three years in development, the new Management System standard is nearing its final stages. ISO/IEC 42001 is intended to be an integral part of improving the governance and accountability of Artificial Intelligence globally.

With the accelerating adoption & interest of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there has been a strong demand for some method of governing its use and application. ISO/IEC 42001 standard is the result of that demand. Its development has involved experts from over 50 countries and a period of public consultation before the initial draft was published in November 2022. It can be used by any size or type of organization that intends to make use of AI for developing or delivering its products and services.

“Artificial Intelligence offers endless benefits to society and businesses alike; however, ensuring trust in AI demands safe, secure and ethical application of the technology,” says Nanda kumar Shamanna, Global ICT Scheme Manager in DNV.

As a management system standard, ISO/IEC 42001 shares several key elements with other standards such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 27001 for Information and cyber security management. The standards provide best-practices, rules, definitions or guidance used to design and manufacture products or implement processes to manage risks and operational aspects.  And it can easily be integrated with other management system standards.

The objectives of ISO/IEC 42001 can be summarized as:

  • Promoting the development and use of AI systems that are trustworthy, transparent and accountable.
  • Emphasizing ethical principles and values such as fairness, non-discrimination and respect for privacy when deploying AI systems so as to meet stakeholder expectations.
  • Helping organizations identify and mitigate risks related to AI implementation which in turn improves efficiency and reduces cost.
  • Maintaining regulatory compliance including data protection requirements.
  • Building greater confidence in AI management by encouraging organizations to prioritise human well-being, safety and user experience in AI design and deployment.
  • Enhancing its reputation as organizations that adhere to ISO 42001 gain a competitive advantage and are seen as leaders in ethical AI.

“ISO/IEC 42001 is the first international management system standard for AI and will become essential to help companies manage risks and safe implementation, fostering trust toward its stakeholders like patients at a hospital, for example,” says Nanda Kumar Shamanna in DNV.