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U.S. Joins with OECD in Adopting Global AI Principles

May 22, 2019 by Fiona Alexander, Associate Administrator Office of International Affairs

The United States is among 42 countries to approve a new international agreement for building trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI), marking the first significant step in a global approach on this issue. Adherence to the agreement will foster innovation and trust in AI as it establishes principles for the responsible development and stewardship of AI, while ensuring respect for democratic values. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted these official “Recommendations” this week at its annual ministerial meeting in Paris.

The agreement aligns with the President’s Executive Order on AI, which sets five major goals for maintaining U.S. leadership in AI, including a call to work with international partners to ensure continued innovation consistent with American values. The Executive Order also highlights the need for protecting safety, security, privacy, and confidentiality in data used for AI research and development, and the promotion of AI while upholding civil liberties, privacy, and American values.

The OECD Recommendations in turn offer guidelines for OECD members’ national policies and international cooperation. They include five broad principles to guide the development and use of AI, including promoting inclusive growth, human-centered values, transparency, safety and security, and accountability. Also included is a call for policymakers to prioritize AI research and development, enable AI with a supportive ecosystem, create an innovation-friendly policy environment, recognize workforce and other human impacts of AI development and deployment, and cooperate internationally on AI policies.  

Many groups are working on AI research and policy development, but the OECD is unique in that its members share democratic values and a commitment to innovation. The OECD’s expertise, including both its own staff and its network of outside academics and technologists, makes the venue a place where the U.S. can continue to promote a pro-innovation agenda while tackling tough policy issues. NTIA looks forward to continuing to participate in the research and policy development that will continue at the OECD on AI and other issues essential to the growth of the global digital economy.