The UK's data protection regulator is to develop a new framework for auditing artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Simon McDougall, executive director for technology policy and innovation at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), set out plans for the work on Monday. Businesses have been invited by the ICO to help shape the framework.

"The framework will give us a solid methodology to audit AI applications and ensure they are transparent, fair; and to ensure that the necessary measures to assess and manage data protection risks arising from them are in place," McDougall said. "The framework will also inform future guidance for organisations to support the continuous and innovative use of AI within the law."

"Whether you’re a data scientist, app developer or head up a company that relies on AI to do business, whether you’re from the private, public or third sector, we want you to join our open discussion about the genuine challenges arising from the adoption of AI. This will ensure the published framework will be both conceptually sound and applicable to real life situations," he said.

In his blog post, McDougall said that the feedback the ICO receives will be used to "inform a formal consultation paper" that it expects to publish by January 2020, and that the ICO's final AI auditing framework and associated guidance for businesses is likely to be published by spring 2020.

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