The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has published an Introduction to AI assurance

The guidance “aims to provide an accessible introduction to both assurance mechanisms and global technical standards, to help industry and regulators better understand how to build and deploy responsible AI systems. It will be a living, breathing document that we keep updated over time.”  Here we pick out the key points to know.

AI governance refers to “a range of mechanisms including laws, regulations, policies, institutions, and norms that can all be used to outline processes for making decisions about AI. The goal of these governance measures is to maximise and reap the benefits of AI technologies while mitigating potential risks and harms.

AI assurance helps organisations:

  • Measure - gathering qualitative and quantitative data on how an AI system functions, to ensure that it performs as intended.
  • Evaluate - assess the risks and impacts of AI systems and inform further decision-making.
  • Communicate - ensure effective communication both within an organisation and externally.

AI assurance techniques may focus on the data, model(s), system(s) and broader operational context.  Examples include:

  • foundational and terminological - providing shared vocabularies to build common understanding;
  • interface and architecture - defining common protocols, formats and interfaces;
  • measurement and test methods - for evaluating properties, such as security of AI systems;
  • process, management and governance - setting out clear processes for best practices in management, governance and internal controls;
  • product and performance requirements - set specific criteria and thresholds to ensure that products and services meet defined benchmarks and performance requirements.

Key actions for organisations:

DSIT says the key actions are:

  • consider existing regulations;
  • upskill within your organisation;
  • review internal governance and risk management;
  • look out for new regulatory guidance
  • consider involvement in AI standardisation.

If you have any questions or would otherwise like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact David Varney, Tom Whittaker, Liz Smith, or another member of our Technology Team. For the latest updates on AI law, regulation, and governance, see our AI blog at: AI: Burges Salmon blog (