The guidelines were developed by the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in consultation with a multistakeholder community. Project fellows from the UK Government’s Office of AI, Deloitte and Salesforce worked with Forum staff, and in partnership with Splunk-convened workshops with appropriate representatives from government, academia, civil society and the private sector to explore key issues and co-design responses.

The guidelines provide fundamental considerations that a government should address before acquiring and deploying AI solutions and services. They apply once it has been determined that the solution needed for a problem could be AI-driven. The guidelines are not intended as a silver bullet for solving all public sector AI-adoption challenges, but by influencing how new AI solutions are procured, they can set government use and adoption of AI on a better path.

Specifically, the guidelines will help:

  • Policy officials to accelerate attainment of their policy goals
  • Procurement officials and commercial teams to develop AI-related requests for proposals and to manage procurement processes
  • Data practitioners (e.g. statisticians, data scientists, digital and technology experts) to safeguard public benefit and identify and manage potential risks
  • AI-solutions providers to better understand the core expectations for government AI projects and to align their proposals with emerging standards for public procurement

The guidelines consist of 10 high-level recommendations, ordered roughly sequentially in terms of their relevance to the cumulative process of procurement, each containing:

  • Multiple principles relating to each guideline
  • Explanatory text elaborating on the thinking and substance underlying each principle

Ultimately, the goal is that these guidelines will enable governments and international bodies to set the right policies, protocols and perhaps even standards to facilitate effective, responsible and ethical public use of AI.

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