Singapore’s Ministry for Communications and Information has announced the launch of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Verify Foundation to harness the collective power and contributions of the global open source community to develop AI testing tools for the responsible use of AI.

The foundation will look to boost AI testing capabilities and assurance to meet the needs of companies and regulators globally, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the statement, seven pioneering premier members – the IMDA, Aicadium (Temasek’s AI Centre of Excellence), IBM, Microsoft, Google, Red Hat and Salesforce will guide the strategic directions and development of AI Verify roadmap.

As a start, the foundation will have also have more than 60 general members such as Adobe, DBS, Meta, SenseTime and Singapore Airlines.

It is noted that the launch of AI Verify Foundation will support the development and use of AI Verify to address risks of AI.

AI Verify is an AI governance testing framework and software toolkit first developed by IMDA in consultation with companies from different sectors and different scales.

According to the statement, the foundation will help to foster an open-source community to contribute to AI testing frameworks, code base, standards and best practices and create a neutral platform for open collaboration and idea-sharing on testing and governing AI.

Launched as a minimum viable product for international pilot last year, AI Verify attracted the interest of over 50 local and multinational companies including IBM, Dell, Hitachi and UBS.

AI Verify is now available to the open source community and will benefit the global community by providing a testing framework and toolkit that is consistent with internationally recognized AI governance principles, e.g., those from European Union (EU), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Singapore.

The AI Verify toolkit provides an integrated interface to generate testing reports that covers different governance principles for an AI system.

It enables companies to be more transparent about their AI by sharing these reports with their stakeholders.

IMDA said that the agency built AI Verify to help organizations objectively demonstrate responsible AI through standardized tests.

It opined that AI testing technologies albeit growing, are still nascent, and there is a need to crowd in the best expertise from across industry and research community to develop this area.

While recognizing the potential risks of AI, Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, noted that the government cannot do it alone.

“The private sector with their expertise can participate meaningfully to achieve these goals with us,” she said.

She also assured that that amidst very real fears and concerns about AI’s development, they will need to actively steer AI towards beneficial uses and away from bad ones.

“This is core to how Singapore thinks about AI,” she added.

Meanwhile, IMDA and Aicadium have published a discussion paper to share Singapore’s approach to building an ecosystem for trusted and responsible adoption of Generative AI, in a way that spurs innovation and tap on its opportunities.

The paper seeks to enhance discourse and invite like-minded partners from around the world to work with Singapore to ensure that Generative AI can be trusted and used in a safe and responsible manner.

The paper identifies six key risks that have emerged from Generative AI as well as a systems approach to enable a trusted and vibrant ecosystem.

The approach provides an initial framework for policy makers to (i) strengthen the foundation of AI governance provided by existing frameworks to address the unique characteristic of Generative AI, (ii) address immediate concerns and (iii) invest for longer- term governance outcomes.

The specific ideas (e.g. shared responsibility framework, disclosure standards) also seek to foster global interoperability, regardless of whether they are adopted as hard or soft laws.

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