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New Zealand framework for algorithms

The New Zealand Government recently published its Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand to guide the use of algorithms by the government’s public sector agencies.

The Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand reveals a commitment to ensuring New Zealanders have confidence in how government agencies use algorithms. The charter is one of many ways that government proves its transparency and accountability in the use of data.

The Charter emphasises that more complex algorithms can be used to support human decision-making, helping the Government to better understand New Zealand and New Zealanders.  It recognises that a principled approach is needed to realise this potential and mitigate the risk of unintended consequences, and as such, government agencies that sign onto the Charter commit to following its principles when using algorithms to help serve the people of New Zealand.

This Charter sets a strong foundation for guiding NZ GOVT agencies on how to implement algorithms in a manner that warrants trust, considering the key elements of Transparency, Partnership, People, Data, Privacy/Ethics/Human Rights as well as Human Oversight.

The Algorithm Charter commitments are built on 6 pillars:

Transparency

Maintain transparency by clearly explaining how decisions are informed by algorithms. This may include:

  • Plain English documentation of the algorithm,
  • Making information about the data and processes available (unless a lawful restriction prevents this),
  • Publishing information about how data are collected, secured and stored.

Partnership

Deliver clear public benefit through Treaty commitments by:

  • Embedding a Te Ao Māori perspective in the development and use of algorithms consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

People

Focus on people by:

  • Identifying and actively engaging with people, communities and groups who have an interest in algorithms, and consulting with those impacted by their use.

Data

Make sure data is fit for purpose by:

  • Understanding its limitations,
  • Identifying and managing bias.

Privacy, Ethics and Human Rights

Ensure that privacy, ethics and human rights are safeguarded by:

  • Regularly peer-reviewing algorithms to assess for unintended consequences and act on this information.

Human Oversight

Retain human oversight by:

  • Nominating a point of contact for public inquiries about algorithms,
  • Providing a channel for challenging or appealing of decisions informed by algorithms,
  • Clearly explaining the role of humans in decisions informed by algorithms.

AI New Zealand is an initiative to help organisations leverage Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and data to improve productivity, effectiveness and customer experiences with AI-powered solutions.

The use of AI has become a contentious topic in New Zealand in recent years. The AI Forum of New Zealand – representing organisations from across New Zealand’s artificial intelligence ecosystem – has published a set of principles designed to help build public trust in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in New Zealand.

The Trustworthy AI in Aotearoa AI Principles document sets out five principles covering:

  1. fairness and justice
  2. reliability, security and privacy
  3. transparency
  4. human oversight and accountability
  5. well-being

The authors say they have drawn on common themes emerging from the growing body of published AI ethical principles.

New Zeland is very firm in its ambitions and aims to deploy AI in government and across the board. A strong champion of this is the AI Forum of New Zealand (AIFNZ).

The Artificial Intelligence Forum of New Zealand sets out to raise the level of awareness and capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in New Zealand. The rapid development of AI technologies presents major opportunities and challenges for the country: from creating world-leading AI businesses, nurturing a pool of talented AI engineers, applying AI technologies to the NZ Government, agriculture, manufacturing and service industries to holding a meaningful national debate on the broader implications for society, New Zealand needs to actively engage with AI now to secure the country’s future prosperity.

The Forum brings together citizens, business, academia and the Government connecting, promoting and advancing the AI ecosystem to help ensure a thriving future New Zealand enabled by technology.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.