UC adopts recommendations for the responsible use of artificial intelligence

Oct 20, 2021
CSE professors Nadia Henninger and Lawrence Saul are part of the group that developed UC's recommendations on responsible use of AI.

The University of California has adopted a set of recommendations to guide the safe and responsible deployment of artificial intelligence in UC operations and three researchers at UC San Diego were involved with the effort. 

UC becomes one of the first universities in the nation to establish overarching principles for the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) and a governance process that prioritizes transparency and accountability in decisions about when and how AI is deployed.

The recommendations were developed by the University of California Presidential Working Group on Artificial Intelligence. The group was launched in 2020 by UC President Michael V. Drake and former UC President Janet Napolitano to assist UC in determining a set of responsible principles to guide procurement, development, implementation, and monitoring of artificial intelligence (AI) in UC operations.

The group included three UC San Diego faculty: Nadia Henninger is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) whose work focuses on cryptography and security; Lawrence Saul is a professor in CSE whose research interests are machine learning and data analysis; Camille Nebeker is a professor who co-founded and directs the Research Center for Optimal Digital Ethics Health at UC San Diego.

The working group developed a set of UC Responsible AI Principles and explored four high-risk application areas: health, human resources, policing, and student experience. Nebeker and Saul were part of the group focusing on health, while Heninger worked on policing considerations. The group has published a final report that explores current and future applications of AI in these areas and provides recommendations for how to operationalize the UC Responsible AI Principles. The report concludes with overarching recommendations to help guide UC’s strategy for determining whether and how to responsibly implement AI in its operations.

UC will now take steps to operationalize the Working Group’s key recommendations:

  • Institutionalize the UC Responsible AI Principles in procurement and oversight practices;
  • Establish campus-level councils and systemwide coordination to further the principles and guidance from the working group;
  • Develop a risk and impact assessment strategy to evaluate AI-enabled technologies during procurement and throughout a tool’s operational lifetime;
  • Document AI-enabled technologies in a public database to promote transparency and accountability.