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    Asian Governments Aim for Interoperability in AI Governance Frameworks

    February 28, 2024

    The regulatory landscape for artificial intelligence (AI), including the generative kind, is evolving rapidly, with governments and regulators aiming to address the challenges and opportunities presented by this transformative technology. The approaches in Asia Pacific remain fragmented and inconsistent, causing substantial uncertainty. While the countries in Asia have not yet formalized comprehensive AI or genAI regulations, supervisory efforts are underway in various countries in the form of principles and guidance. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently published a guide on governance and ethics for artificial intelligence, which was endorsed at the 4th ASEAN Digital Minsters’ meeting in Singapore. ASEAN includes countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam as its members. The guide from ASEAN aims to facilitate the alignment and interoperability of AI frameworks across ASEAN jurisdictions.

    The guide from ASEAN is relatively light-touch in comparison with the stricter regulatory approach adopted in EU via the AI Act. It is intended as a practical guide for organizations in the region that wish to design, develop, and deploy AI technologies for commercial use. The guide also provides recommendations for national and regional level initiatives for responsible AI system deployment. This document, which was collaboratively developed by all ASEAN member states, is intended to serve as regional best practice guidance on AI governance and ethics. It is meant to be a living document that is periodically reviewed and enhanced as needed. The AI governance framework in the guide is based on the seven guiding principles of transparency and explainability; fairness and equity; security and safety; human-centricity; privacy and data governance; accountability and integrity; and robustness and reliability. The guide outlines the following four key components of an AI framework:

    • Internal governance structures and measures, which entails establishing an AI Ethics Advisory Board to oversee AI governance and developing standards, guidelines, tools, and templates to help organizations design, develop, and deploy AI responsibly
    • Determining the level of human involvement in AI-augmented decision-making, which involves conducting relevant risk impact assessments to determine level of risk
    • Operations management in the form of mitigation of risks of unjust bias and risk-based assessments before starting any data collection and processing or modeling
    • Stakeholder interaction and communication, which involves developing trust with stakeholders throughout the design, development, and deployment of AI; providing general disclosure of when AI is used in products and/or service offerings; and putting in place measures to help employees adapt to an AI-augmented work environment.

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    Related Link: ASEAN Guide on AI Governance


    Keywords: Asia Pacific, Banking, Regtech, Suptech, Generative AI, Guidance, Governance, ASEAN

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