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Govt commits to using trustworthy AI in public service

The Government has approved guidance on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the public service.

Following agreement on a new EU AI Act, the Government has instructed that all AI tools used by the Irish public service should comply with seven requirements for ethical AI that have been developed by the European Commission.

The seven requirements fall under the headings of human agency and oversight; technical robustness and safety; privacy and data governance; transparency, diversity, non-discrimination and fairness; societal and environmental well-being; and accountability.

Interim guidelines for the use of AI by the public service have been developed.

Other Government supports available include a direct drawdown procurement framework for robotic process automation, funding support for AI projects and learning and development interventions for public servants.

“Our Government and public service must not shy away from the opportunities presented by AI because of the potential risks involved,” said Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform Paschal Donohoe.

“The guidance issued today and the supports we have in place and future supports we are developing, will help Public Servants avail of those opportunities in a way that is ethical and maintains trust,” Mr Donohoe said.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney said the potential productivity gains of AI technologies for public service bodies are immense.

“These guidelines will support public service bodies in preparing for the forthcoming EU AI Act, which will be the first ever comprehensive legal framework for AI, providing guardrails to ensure that the rights of the individual are protected and supporting responsible innovation,” Mr Coveney said.

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