Technology

ISO 42001: A new foundational global standard to advance responsible AI


Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformational technologies of our generation and provides opportunities to be a force for good and drive economic growth. The growth of large language models (LLMs), with hundreds of billions of parameters, has unlocked new generative AI use cases to improve customer experiences, boost employee productivity, and so much more. At AWS, we remain committed to harnessing AI responsibly, working hand in hand with our customers to develop and use AI systems with safety, fairness, and security at the forefront.

The AI industry reached an important milestone this week with the publication of ISO 42001. In simple terms, ISO 42001 is an international management system standard that provides guidelines for managing AI systems within organizations. It establishes a framework for organizations to systematically address and control the risks related to the development and deployment of AI. ISO 42001 emphasizes a commitment to responsible AI practices, encouraging organizations to adopt controls specific to their AI systems, fostering global interoperability, and setting a foundation for the development and deployment of responsible AI.

Trust in AI is crucial and integrating standards such as ISO 42001, which promotes AI governance, is one way to help earn public trust by supporting a responsible use approach.

As part of a broad, international community of subject matter experts, AWS has actively collaborated in ISO 42001’s development since 2021 and started laying the foundation prior to the standard’s final publication.

International standards foster global cooperation in developing and implementing responsible AI solutions. Perhaps like no other technology before it, managing these challenges requires collaboration and a truly multidisciplinary effort across technology companies, policymakers, community groups, scientists, and others—and international standards play a valuable role.

International standards are an important tool to help organizations translate domestic regulatory requirements into compliance mechanisms, including engineering practices, that are largely globally interoperable. Effective standards help reduce confusion about what AI is and what responsible AI entails, and help focus the industry on the reduction of potential harms. AWS is working in a community of diverse international stakeholders to improve emerging AI standards on variety of topics, including risk management, data quality, bias, and transparency.

Conformance with the new ISO 42001 standard is one of the ways that organizations can demonstrate a commitment to excellence in responsibly developing and deploying AI systems and applications. We are continuing to pursue the adoption of ISO 42001, and look forward to working with customers to do the same.

We are committed to investing in the future of responsible AI, and helping to inform international standards in the interest of our customers and the communities in which we all live and operate.


About the authors

Swami Sivasubramanian is Vice President of Data and Machine Learning at AWS. In this role, Swami oversees all AWS Database, Analytics, and AI & Machine Learning services. His team’s mission is to help organizations put their data to work with a complete, end-to-end data solution to store, access, analyze, and visualize, and predict.



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