Public sector AI standards

The Government published a report looking at AI and its impact on public standards, noting that clear standards of conduct and greater transparency will enable the UK public sector the reap the benefits of AI.

In response to this, comments from Dr. Iain Brown, Head of Data Science at SAS UK & Ireland, exploring how ethical use of AI must be a priority for the public services and how greater transparency will help to gain consumer trust and bring AI into the mainstream.

Dr Iain Brown, Head of Data Science at SAS UK & Ireland:

Making decisions with the help of intelligent machines is one of the most progressive steps the public sector has ever taken. Yet, on this mission to reach a new level of quality in public services, responsible and ethical use of AI should be the priority.


“SAS research suggests that, whilst those working with AI are enthusiastic about its potential, the greatest barrier to this potential comes from concerns over trust. Maintaining the trust of the public, through complying with the new recommendations and being proactive in offering visibility over how AI is used, is essential if the technology is to become mainstream in the public sector. This includes informing the public on how data is collected and ensuring that decisions made can be justified. 


“Ethical frameworks like FATE provide key guidelines to help public services enable responsible decision-making. AI implementation should be fair in that it’s devoid of bias and discrimination; accountable with clear ownership of AI-powered decision making; transparent, meaning the methodology behind AI-generated decisions is clearly laid out; and explainable in that AI-enabled decisions must make clear sense.”