Independent report

The roadmap to an effective AI assurance ecosystem

The CDEI has published a roadmap, which is the first of its kind, setting out the steps required to build a world-leading AI assurance ecosystem in the UK.


The roadmap to an effective AI assurance ecosystem

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AI assurance guide


The CDEI has set out the steps required to build an effective and mature AI assurance ecosystem in the UK. A thriving ecosystem of assurance services and products for AI will enable those involved in the development and deployment of AI to assess the trustworthiness of AI systems, and communicate this information to others. Publication of the roadmap, which is the first of its kind, delivers on a commitment made in the National AI Strategy.

The roadmap identifies priority areas for action, and sets out the roles and responsibilities of different actors in this emerging ecosystem. To develop the roadmap, the CDEI engaged widely, conducted multidisciplinary research, and worked with partners in the public, private sector and academia to run pilot projects. This included working with a team of researchers at UCL to investigate the audit and assurance of AI systems in industry.

Alongside publication of the roadmap, the CDEI has released an extended version, which provides further detail about the role of AI assurance in driving trustworthy adoption of AI, the six priority areas for action that it has identified, and the follow up work the CDEI will be undertaking. Additionally, the CDEI has published an assurance guide, which is focused on the delivery of AI assurance, and aims to support practitioners and others using or providing AI assurance.

Key takeaways

The roadmap identifies six priority areas for action:

  • Generate demand for reliable and effective assurance across the AI supply chain

  • Build a dynamic, competitive AI assurance market, that provides a range of effective services and tools

  • Develop standards that provide a common language and scalable assessment techniques for AI assurance

  • Build an accountable AI assurance profession

  • Set out regulatory requirements that can be assured against

  • Improve links between industry and independent researchers, so that researchers can help develop assurance techniques and identify AI risks

Next steps

To support development of an effective and mature ecosystem, AI assurance is a core theme of the CDEI’s 2021/22 work programme. It will be taking a number of steps over the next year to deliver on the roadmap, along with partners across industry, regulators and government. For example, the CDEI will be working with DCMS and OAI as they work with stakeholders to pilot an AI Standards Hub to expand the UK’s contribution to global AI standards, as well as partnering with professional bodies and regulators in the UK to set out assurable standards and requirements for AI systems.

Published 8 December 2021