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UK government publishes pioneering standard for algorithmic transparency

Originally published:
Nov 29, 2021

This month, the UK Central Digital and Data Office published a framework to develop more algorithmic transparency for government departments and public sector bodies with the assistance of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. The framework will be enforced beginning in 2022. This step towards more transparency in algorithmic models makes the United Kingdom one of the first countries to create comprehensive guidelines on the matter, strengthening its position as a leader in AI governance.

With the assistance of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation’s advisory council and public entries, the Office’s Central Digital and Data Office designed a standard with two tiers. The first tier requires organizations to publish a short description about their algorithmic tools, “including how and why it is being used.” The second tier provides more details about how the algorithm operates, the datasets being used to train the model, and the level of human monitoring. The Office hopes greater transparency will “promote trustworthy innovation by providing better visibility of the use of algorithms across the public sector, and enabling unintended consequences to be mitigated early on.”

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