Assurance and certification of emerging digital technologies

1 Dec 2022 13:50h - 15:20h

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The session discussed the challenges that arise while performing the assurance or certification of emerging digital technologies. 

Digital transformation does not only mean adopting new technologies, but also adopting new business models. This indicates that organisations and societies should understand emerging technologies and their impacts. Artificial intelligence (AI), for instance, brings many benefits to people and businesses. However, many examples have shown that the risks of AI, such as data bias, algorithmic bias, and black boxing, cannot be underestimated.  

With the increasing use of AI and other emerging digital technologies impacting important areas of social and economic life, legislators and regulatory authorities are seeking to put in place guidelines and legal safeguards to protect citizens from potential negative consequences. Some of the developments regarding AI regulation include the Artificial Intelligence Act in the EU and the Digital Charter Implementation Act in Canada. 

International organisations have also provided different initiatives and guideline packages on trustworthy AI:

To effectively implement these safeguards, it is necessary to put in place an ecosystem of assurance and certification that can assess and communicate compliance with guidelines and regulations. Many countries have also established AI institutes, with a focus on building certification programmes for different types of AI systems and other emerging technologies. Furthermore, technology developers and designers should consider developing conformity assessment schemes for emerging technologies such as AI.

However, some of the key challenges faced in creating such ecosystems include:

  • The rapid development of emerging technologies 
  • A shortage of skilled professionals for delivering the assessments 
  • The lack of inclusion of marginalised groups when new technology is designed
  • A lack of internationally recognised assurance and certification standards for new technologies

A quality safeguarding mechanism is key to building public confidence and security in the use of emerging technology. Due to the international nature of most digital service provisions, successful best practices for assurance and conformity assessment of digital services depend on international and regional cooperation.


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