AI Certification: Advancing Ethical Practice by Reducing Information Asymmetries

IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society, https://doi.org/10.1109/TTS.2021.3077595

LPP Working Paper No. 10-2021

27 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2021 Last revised: 8 Nov 2022

See all articles by Peter Cihon

Peter Cihon

Center for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford

Moritz J. Kleinaltenkamp

Hertie School - Centre for Digital Governance

Jonas Schuett

Centre for the Governance of AI; Legal Priorities Project; Goethe University Frankfurt

Seth Baum

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute

Date Written: May 10, 2021

Abstract

As artificial intelligence (AI) systems are increasingly deployed, principles for ethical AI are also proliferating. Certification offers a method to both incentivize adoption of these principles and substantiate that they have been implemented in practice. This paper draws from management literature on certification and reviews current AI certification programs and proposals. Successful programs rely on both emerging technical methods and specific design considerations. In order to avoid two common failures of certification, program designs should ensure that the symbol of the certification is substantially implemented in practice and that the program achieves its stated goals. The review indicates that the field currently focuses on self-certification and third-party certification of systems, individuals, and organizations—to the exclusion of process management certifications. Additionally, the paper considers prospects for future AI certification programs. Ongoing changes in AI technology suggest that AI certification regimes should be designed to emphasize governance criteria of enduring value, such as ethics training for AI developers, and to adjust technical criteria as the technology changes. Overall, certification can play a valuable mix in the portfolio of AI governance tools.

Keywords: certification, artificial intelligence, ethics, standards organizations, government, couplings, environmental management

JEL Classification: M48

Suggested Citation

Cihon, Peter and Kleinaltenkamp, Moritz J. and Schuett, Jonas and Baum, Seth, AI Certification: Advancing Ethical Practice by Reducing Information Asymmetries (May 10, 2021). IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society, https://doi.org/10.1109/TTS.2021.3077595, LPP Working Paper No. 10-2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3941300

Peter Cihon (Contact Author)

Center for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

Moritz J. Kleinaltenkamp

Hertie School - Centre for Digital Governance ( email )

Friedrichstr. 180
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Jonas Schuett

Centre for the Governance of AI ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://governance.ai

Legal Priorities Project ( email )

1427 Cambridge St
#5
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
02139 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://legalpriorities.org

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Frankfurt
Germany

Seth Baum

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute ( email )

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