Have you accounted for AI risk in your risk management framework

December 11, 2023  |  Bindu Sundaresan

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to significantly influence various facets of society, spanning healthcare, transportation, finance, and national security. Industry practitioners and citizens overall are actively considering and discussing the myriad ways AI could be employed or should be applied.

It is crucial to thoroughly comprehend and address the real-world consequences of AI deployment, moving beyond suggestions for your next streaming video or predictions for your shopping preferences. Nevertheless, a pivotal question of our era revolves around how we can harness the power of AI for the greater good of society, aiming to improve lives. The space between introducing innovative technology and its potential for misuse is shrinking fast. As we enthusiastically embrace the capabilities of AI, it is crucial to brace ourselves for heightened technological risks, ranging from biases to security threats.

In this digital era, where cybersecurity concerns are already on the rise, AI introduces a new set of vulnerabilities. However, as we confront these challenges, it is crucial not to lose sight of the bigger picture. The world of AI encompasses both positive and negative aspects, and it is evolving rapidly. To keep pace, we must simultaneously drive the adoption of AI, defend against its associated risks, and ensure responsible use. Only then can we unlock the full potential of AI for groundbreaking advancements without compromising our ongoing progress.

Overview of the NIST Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework

The NIST AI Risk Management Framework (AI RMF) is a comprehensive guideline developed by NIST, in collaboration with various stakeholders and in alignment with legislative efforts, to assist organizations in managing risks associated with AI systems. It aims to enhance the trustworthiness and minimize potential harm from AI technologies. The framework is divided into two main parts:

Planning and understanding: This part focuses on guiding organizations to evaluate the risks and benefits of AI, defining criteria for trustworthy AI systems. Trustworthiness is measured based on factors like validity, reliability, security, resilience, accountability, transparency, explainability, privacy enhancement, and fairness with managed biases.

Actionable guidance: This section, known as the core of the framework, outlines four key steps - govern, map, measure, and manage. These steps are integrated into the AI system development process to establish a risk management culture, identify, and assess risks, and implement effective mitigation strategies.

Information gathering: Collecting essential data about AI systems, such as project details and timelines.

Govern: Establishing a strong governance culture for AI risk management throughout the organization.

Map: Framing risks in the context of the AI system to enhance risk identification.

Measure: Using various methods to analyze and monitor AI risks and their impacts.

Manage: Applying systematic practices to address identified risks, focusing on risk treatment and response planning.

The AI RMF is a great tool to assist organizations in creating a strong governance program and managing the risks associated with their AI systems. Even though it is not mandatory under any current proposed laws, it’s undoubtedly a valuable resource that can help companies develop a robust governance program for AI and stay ahead with a sustainable risk management framework.

NIST AI risk

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