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Assessing Conformity With The EU Artificial Intelligence Act

Citibeats, an ethically-focused social intelligence platform, has partnered with Enzai Technologies, an AI governance platform, to enhance its AI governance procedures ahead of the new European regulations in the artificial intelligence space.

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As an ethically-focused AI scale-up, implementing robust governance and transparency standards is a hugely important objective for Citibeats. The accuracy and trustworthiness of its underlying AI systems is critical to enable it to deliver valuable social insights to its customers through the Citibeats platform. This can be achieved through effective privacy controls, bias-analysis and transparency procedures, and although many of these safeguards are covered under the European Union’s draft Artificial Intelligence Act, they can be difficult to implement in practice. To ensure that it is meeting the gold standard in global AI governance, Citibeats wanted to benchmark its AI applications against the gold standard for responsible AI.

Enzai’s novel AI governance platform allows organisations to put the necessary governance procedures in place, translating these important principles into practice. As a result of its work on the Enzai platform, Citibeats has been able to establish robust and effective governance controls, to accelerate the development of safe and trustworthy AI. The platform has allowed Citibeats to benchmark its systems against emerging regulations, along with international policies, standards and frameworks.

The EU AIA

The EU AIA represents the world’s first attempt to implement horizontal regulation of AI systems. Due to the ‘Brussels Effect’, it is predicted to become the de facto standard setter globally. Analysts currently expect the EU AIA to come into force towards the end of 2024, and ethically focused businesses are now keen to get a head start. Many of the requirements under the act, such as the obligation to establish a risk management system and keep technical documentation, make sense regardless of the regulatory imperative. As the AI space matures, these controls (which can be implemented quickly and effectively through the Enzai platform) will become essential for any organisation building AI. You can find out more about the EU AIA, along with an overview of the latest proposed updates, here.

Having recently launched its very own Ethical AI Community, embracing the European Union’s proposals for regulating AI technologies is a key milestone on Citibeats’ journey towards safe and trustworthy AI.  “AI is a very powerful tool and cannot be treated lightly. It is impacting our day-to-day lives in every aspect, and we have to make sure to do it right and make it fair to everyone. But this is not an individual effort, nor a company or even a country. It is only by a joint community effort, from all around the world, that we will be able to build a better foundation for our society. And it goes all the way, from the algorithmic and data level to governance and law. This is clearly something big, bigger than Citibeats, and we are humbled to be the one to initiate this”, said Abby Seneor, CTO of Citibeats.

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Conducting the conformity assessment

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Articles 16 and 43 of the draft EU AIA require organisations building certain types of AI to conduct a conformity assessment. The goal of a conformity assessment is to ensure that a given system is legally compliant, ethically sound, and technically robust, which is often easier said than done. The regulatory AI landscape is growing increasingly complex, with a myriad of global standards now emerging. These can often be confusing and difficult to translate into actionable insights.

The team behind Enzai is made up of experienced lawyers, who have worked at some of the world’s best law firms and are leaders in the field of AI risk management. Through the Enzai platform, Citibeats has been able to navigate through an array of global standards (such as the CapAI assessment, the NIST risk management framework, the UK’s algorithmic transparency standards, etc.) to assess its system against the five key lifecycle phases: design, development, evaluation, operation, and retirement. The Enzai platform has helped Citibeats translate these ethical principles into actionable insights, which can be used to verify whether a system aligns with fundamental EU values and rights.

Drawing on leading frameworks to complete the analysis, Citibeats has been able to conduct an important compliance review, and generate three key governance outputs as a result of this evaluation process:

  1. an internal review protocol, which provides it with a well-defined governance framework for quality assurance and risk management along with the relevant technical documentation;
  2. a summary datasheet; and
  3. a model card, which may be distributed to customers and stakeholders as evidence of good practice and conscious management of ethical issues.

There are many clear advantages to implementing such a governance process. Firstly, it goes beyond ‘responsible AI’ rhetoric and translates illusive ethical principles into tangible criteria which can be used to verify whether a system aligns with fundamental European values and rights. Moreover, it is sufficiently comprehensive and holistic, spanning all stages of the AI lifecycle. Finally, this ethically guided approach allows Citibeats to continue driving trust and transparency in AI technologies for its customers. By using Enzai’s novel technologies, Citibeats has been able to turn AI governance into one of its strongest competitive advantages!

“Getting this right is critical for the ecosystem” noted Ryan Donnelly, one of the founders of Enzai. “Establishing trust in AI is vital to ensure that these technologies can fulfil their potential, and conducting this analysis against the EU AIA clearly establishes Citibeats as an early leader in the ethical AI space.”

Next steps 

United by a mutual desire to harness the revolutionary potential of AI for the benefit of both business and society at large, Citibeats and Enzai are excited by the opportunity to continue enhancing the AI governance process. Later this year we intend to publish a joint paper detailing our experience implementing an AI governance structure.

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