Artificial intelligence requires standards and specifications

Successful kick-off event for AI Standardization Roadmap

How can standards help ensure that artificial intelligence works safely and dependably for us in the future? The German Institute for Standardization (DIN) and VDE/DKE discussed exactly this question at the kick-off event for the Standardization Roadmap on Artificial Intelligence, along with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and more than 300 experts and stakeholders from industry, politics, the scientific research community and society as a whole.

Key element of the German government’s AI strategy

“Artificial intelligence is a key technology that holds enormous potential for German industry. Yet in order to further advance “AI made in Germany”, we need reliable standards and specifications. The standardization roadmap will make an important contribution toward this goal. This is also the aim of the Federal Government’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy," explained Dr. Ulrich Nussbaum, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, at the event.

According to Christoph Winterhalter, Chairman of the Executive Board of DIN, “Today’s kick-off event marks the official launch of work on our standardization roadmap. Our goal is to create a safe and reliable framework that facilitates access for German innovations and companies to the global market, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises, and at the same time promotes the implementation of priorities for AI at the European level.” Dr. Sebastian Hallensleben, Head of Digitalisation and AI at VDE, added, "With the standardization roadmaps on AI ethics and AI, both German standards organizations have joined forces to bring together the most important minds, across all industry and discipline boundaries, and play a decisive role in shaping the digital transformation.”

Setting the course for further work

The various presentations and discussion rounds at the kick-off event focused on the necessity and significance of standards and specifications for the continuing development of AI. Over the course of seven workshops, the participants will set the course for further work on the standardization roadmap. In the next step, the topics discussed there will be examined at an in-depth level and developed in working groups. These include fundamental underlying issues (data, terminology, classification, AI elements) and topics such as ethics / responsible AI, IT security for AI systems, quality and certification, mobility and logistics, industrial automation and AI in medicine.   

High-level steering group is coordinating the roadmap

A group of high-ranking representatives from industry, politics, science and civil society is overseeing and supporting the AI Standardization Roadmap. Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster, Member of the Steering Committee for the Plattform Lernende Systeme and leading German AI research scientist, is heading up the steering group. "The roadmap will include an overview of existing AI standards and in particular, will identify areas where standardization is needed according to the level of urgency - especially with regard to the quality, traceability, ease of explanation and reliability of AI," said Prof. Wahlster. The aim is to present the Standardization Roadmap as part of the German government’s “Digital-Gipfel 2020” (Digital Summit) taking place in autumn 2020.


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