The World Economic Forum, AI Global, and the Schwartz Reisman Institute join forces to create an independent and practical certification program for algorithmic decisioning systems

Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario (1 December 2020) – The World Economic Forum (WEF), AI Global, and the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society (SRI) at the University of Toronto today announced the launch of a working group to lead the development of a globally recognized certification program for the responsible and trusted use of algorithmic decisioning and artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

This working group will bring together a diverse community of leading experts across industry practitioners, policy makers, regulators, consumers, and academia, aimed at creating practical tools for the development of responsible AI systems, as well as measurable assessments for fairness, bias, explainability and other metrics of responsibly built AI systems.

As AI becomes more capable and integrated into every aspect of life we are starting to see not just the promise but the harms of these technologies when left to operate without proper transparency and control,” said Ashley Casovan, Executive Director, AI Global.

AI is already being deployed into high-profile applications where trust is paramount, such as prioritizing COVID vaccine distribution, determining access to credit, and facial recognition in law enforcement. In response, experts around the world are calling for practical solutions to address the challenges of building and deploying safe, responsible, inclusive, and trusted AI systems.

“The need for a measurable, independent and authoritative certification program working across sectors and across regions, is imperative,” says Gillian K. Hadfield, Director, SRI “this initiative aims to be the first comprehensive third-party accredited certification for AI systems.”

With expertise in convening multi-stakeholders to solve some of the world’s most significant challenges, incubating this initiative with World Economic Forum (as part of their Shaping the Future of Technology Governance: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning platform) provides the opportunity to receive critical feedback from industry, government, civil society, and academia alike.

“We are delighted to collaborate with organizations creating best practices in the complex field of responsible AI, and encourage the development of credible, independently-validated processes for certifying AI systems,” says Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum.

Get Involved

WEF, AI Global and SRI will host a virtual event on Wednesday, December 9th from 11a.m.-12:00pm EST to kick off the initiative. As a multi-stakeholder initiative, join organizations such as IBM, Open AI, PwC, Anthem, Deliotte, Oxford Internet Institute, the University of Texas, University of Montreal, IEEE, and others for the initial meeting. Recognizing there are several efforts underway to develop standards and assurance mechanisms for AI systems, this initial meeting is a call for participation to coordinate and advance these efforts. The working group will continue to invite feedback as the certification program is developed.

For additional information you can register for the event or email

About AI Global

AI Global is a non-profit building tangible governance tools to address growing concerns about AI. Their mission is to catalyze the practical and responsible design, development, and use of AI.  Their tools have been among the first to demonstrate how to turn responsible AI principles into action. Bringing extensive experience in responsible AI policy and the development of AI systems for industry, AI Global is uniquely positioned to partner with organizations across public and private sectors to guide and inform responsible AI governance around the world.

About the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society (SRI)

Based at the University of Toronto, SRI is a research and solutions hub that builds on fundamental world-class research in technology development, governance, and policy with actionable, human-centred solutions to the challenge of building safe, responsible, and inclusive technologies in industry, government, and civil society. SRI’s guiding vision is that powerful technologies should improve life—for everyone.

About the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Founded in 1971, the WEF is an independent international NGO committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. Striving to be accountable to all parts of society, the WEF balances the best of many kinds of organizations, from both the public and private sectors, international organizations, and academic institutions.

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