How AI is facilitating fair access to data

The GPAI Data Governance Working Group is focusing on two concepts. The first is data trusts, and the second is fairness in data access and management.

Openness, transparency, collaborative working and inclusion: these are the four key values to which the GPAI Data Governance Working Group has committed. By ‘governance’, it means the collection, use and sharing of data, as well as its archiving and deletion. All these techniques must remain consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around respect for human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, economic growth and social benefit. Therefore, the Working Group has focused its efforts on two major governance issues: data trusts and fair access to data.

A short guide to data trusts

The first issue addresses the need to ensure the secure and fair sharing of data through the creation of trusted intermediaries. This is a particular necessity true for data trusts, which are legal entities that provide independent stewardship of data management and use. Data trusts enables private individuals and communities that partner with a trust to regain control over the use of their personal data.

The Working Group has worked collaboratively on this issue with the Open Data Institute and Cambridge Data Trusts Initiative in the UK, and the Aapti Institute in India. The aim of this work is to list the best practices and legislative frameworks required for this ecosystem of trusted third parties. In practical terms, this means that the Working Group will produce resources such as guides and tools, to facilitate the setup of new data trusts. It will also contribute the implementation of pilot projects, analysing their results and making recommendations based on its findings. The public launch is scheduled for the end of March 2022.

Ensuring fair access to data

The second challenge for the Working Group is to build a framework that will provide fair access, representation and transparency of data useful for the development of AI. The concept, known as data justice, is all about applying the concepts of equity and fairness to the processes in which data are used. More specifically, progress needs to be made on facilitating easy access to data, as well as the visibility and representation of marginalised individuals and communities.

The practical goals of the Working Group include inspiring policy makers, developers, users and partners in developing countries. It has been working alongside the Alan Turing Institute, the UK National Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, to understand the latest advances in data equity research. The Working Group intends to extend its partnership with the Institute in order to produce and publish a series of draft guides in conjunction with 12 partners. These partners represent policy makers, developers and marginalised communities. Additionally, a report on the latest advances in research, and a timetable for future research into the technical, economic and legal aspects of promoting data equity, will be published as part of this collaboration.

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