Editorial

Dubai issues formal guidance on what AI ethics should look like

By fusing data and innovation we’re preparing Dubai to become the AI city of the future. Artificial Intelligence will streamline day-to-day work life by providing fast and easy access to a wealth of data-driven information, promises the ‘Smart Dubai’ project – which says ethics needs to be at the heart of all future smart city planning

Posted 9 January 2019 by

The government of Dubai has just published intriguing guidelines for the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its upcoming ‘Smart Dubai‘ smart city initiative.

With its ‘Ethical AI Toolkit,’ city planners think they have the beginnings of a way to provide advice to individuals and organisations offering AI services – and it now wants start discussions around AI ethics and for all components in the city’s technology ecosystem to work together to achieve a unified approach and reach common agreement on becoming more responsible on the use and development of AI systems.

The Toolkit also seeks to encourage organisations that plan to deliver AI services to Dubai citizens to prioritise “fairness, transparency and accountability”.

For Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, “There is an understanding by governments, NGOs and the private sector that AI regulation is needed, but that the field is not yet mature enough to devise fixed rules to govern it.

“However, organisations still require guidance and regulators still need to begin to learn how to oversee this emerging technology, but without creating restrictions that could stifle innovation [and the] Toolkit aims to provide advice in this area for all those involved in the AI sector.”

The toolkit was created using a benchmarking exercise and a consultation approach with a number of Dubai public sector organisations as well as vendors including Microsoft, IBM, Google, Etisalat and PWC.

“By fusing data and innovation we’re preparing Dubai to become the AI city of the future. Artificial Intelligence will streamline day-to-day work life by providing fast and easy access to a wealth of data-driven information. Its consequences will be far-reaching and will impact every area of life, so creating guidelines for AI operatives is essential to provide an ethical underpinning to this evolution,” said Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General, Smart Dubai and CEO, Smart Dubai Data.