Machine Learning Assurance Defined

assurance:

Machine Learning Assurance (MLA) is a controls-based process for ML systems that establishes confidence and verifiability through software and human oversight.

The objective of MLA is to assure interested stakeholders that an ML system is functioning as expected, but in particular, to assure an ML system's transparency, compliance, fairness, safety, and optimal operation.

ML is unique

ML systems present a new paradigm of technology and business decisioning.

Individuals and organizations responsible for managing risk and compliance – including regulators – have not previously contended with such dynamic and variable models and systems.

Huge data collections

Huge data collections

Rapid, opaque decisions

Rapid, opaque decisions

Evolving, rapidly scaling models

Evolving, rapidly scaling models

Specialized, complex technology

Specialized, complex technology

ML needs assurance

Because machine learning is making key decisions that affect people's lives, livelihoods, and opportunities, trust and confidence in ML systems is paramount. There should be a reasonable ability to evaluate and verify their safety, fairness, and compliance.

Companies, regulators, and consumers all benefit from an objective method of assuring ML systems.

For Regulators

ML systems are opaque to non-technical professionals, requiring more ongoing attention from objective parties to ensure safety and compliance.

For Society

Unassured ML applications can lead to broad misconceptions and bias, undermining the long-term promise of the technology.

Principles of MLA

Three core principles empower an effective MLA function and responsible use of ML.

Context

MLA requires clear understanding and documentation of the considerations, goals, and risks evaluated during the lifecycle of an ML application.

Verifiability

MLA requires each business and technical decision and step have the ability to be verified and interrogated.

Objectivity

MLA requires any ML application can be reasonably evaluated and understood by an objective individual or party not involved in the model development.

For a deeper introduction to Machine Learning Assurance (MLA)

Business Understanding

Evaluate key business drivers and questions at project inception and revisit at every following step.

Data Understanding

Understand data lineage, quality, and usage rights.

Control: Data governance

Data Preparation

Pre-process standardized data sets for training, test, and production.

Controls: Data Preparation, Data Segmentation

Modeling

Create the simplest, best fit, and performant models.

Controls: Algorithm Selection, Cross-Functional Review, Metric Selection

Evaluation

Determine accuracy and precision of models before launch and continuously in production.

Control: Model Validation

Deployment

Deliver business sign-off and develop capacity for continuous inspection and review.

Controls: Executive Accountability, Monitoring Process, Model Logging & Interpretability

Related Resources

Below is a list of organizations and websites helping to drive the conversation about Machine Learning Assurance.

JOIN THE MLA COMMUNITY

From our founding, we've focused entirely on Machine Learning Assurance. We actively collaborate with commercial, regulatory, and standards organizations to support education and adoption of MLA. Join us in our mission to create trust and confidence in machine learning.