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Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming every aspect of our lives. It influences how we work and play. It promises to help solve global challenges like climate change and access to quality medical care. Yet AI also brings real challenges for governments and citizens alike.


As it permeates economies and societies, what sort of policy and institutional frameworks should guide AI design and use, and how can we ensure that it benefits society as a whole?


The OECD supports governments by measuring and analysing the economic and social impacts of AI technologies and applications, and engaging with all stakeholders to identify good practices for public policy.

OECD.AI policy observatory

The OECD.AI Policy Observatory is a unique source of real-time information, analysis and dialogue designed to shape and share AI policies across the globe.

Its country dashboards allow you to browse and compare hundreds of AI policy initiatives in over 60 countries and territories.

An AI-powered tool also allows you to follow COVID-19 developments around the world.

The OECD.AI Policy Observatory also hosts the AI Wonk blog, a space where the OECD Network of Experts on AI and guest contributors share their experiences and research.

OECD framework for classifying AI systems

The OECD.AI Network of Experts has developed a draft OECD framework for classifying AI systems to help policy makers, regulators, legislators and others to assess the opportunities and risks that different types of AI systems present, to inform their AI strategies and ensure policy consistency across borders.

The Framework is a user-friendly tool that links the technical characteristics of AI with policy implications, based on the OECD AI Principles that promote values such as fairness, transparency, safety and accountability and policies such as building human capacity and fostering international cooperation.

After a year of work, we held a public consultation through 30 June 2021 to seek input from a broad range of stakeholders on the draft framework’s key components, user friendliness, and usefulness to assess AI system risk. Comments received will be published online and the Framework will be officially launched later in 2021.

OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence

The OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence promote artificial intelligence (AI) that is innovative and trustworthy and that respects human rights and democratic values. They were adopted in May 2019 by OECD member countries when they approved the OECD Council Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence.

The OECD AI Principles are the first such principles signed up to by governments. They include concrete recommendations for public policy and strategy, and their general scope ensures they can be applied to AI developments around the world.

The OECD.AI Policy Observatory, launched in February 2020, aims to help policymakers implement the AI Principles.

OECD International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Work, Innovation, Productivity and Skills

Online event, 1-5 February 2021   Watch the replays

AI is reshaping economies and societies across the world, offering new products and services, and promising to generate productivity gains, improve efficiency and lower costs. Currently it is playing a role in every stage of the fight against COVID-19, from scientific discovery and diagnostics to tracking the impact of the pandemic on societies and supporting remote learning and working. But the adoption of AI also raises questions and fuels anxieties, changing and perhaps accelerating the range of tasks that can be automated, and transforming the way work is carried out.

This event brought together technical and policy experts to discuss the fast-evolving changes in AI capabilities and uptake and to assess their implications for labour markets and societies. It aimed to advance the policy debate so that the adoption of AI in the world of work can be effective, beneficial, people-centred and accepted by the population.

Publications and policy notes

Milestones

The OECD has been working on AI for several years. Milestones include:

  • April 2016: G7 ICT Ministers agreed in Takamatsu, Japan, to start an international discussion on the envisaged rapid development of AI.
  • November 2016: The OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy holds a Technology Foresight Forum on AI that looked at the benefits and challenges brought by AI development.
  • September 2017: G7 ICT and Industry Ministers agree in Turin, Italy, to "look forward to further multistakeholder dialogue and to advancing our understanding of AI cooperation, supported by the OECD."
  • October 2017: OECD conference on AI: Intelligent Machines - Smart Policies.
  • March 2018: G7 Innovation Ministers agree in Montreal, Canada, to "facilitate multistakeholder dialogue and collaboration on artificial intelligence to inform future policy discussions by G7 governments, supported by the OECD in its multistakeholder convener role".
  • September 2018: OECD creates an expert group to foster trust in AI. The group completes its recommendations in February 2019.
  • May 2019: Adoption of the OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence.
  • February 2020: Launch of the OECD.AI Policy Observatory.
  • June 2020: Launch of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, to be hosted at the OECD.