Do you use AI for varied activities, especially for writing and creating images? While AI is useful in reducing the drudgery of people stuck in monotonous jobs; over reliance on artificial intelligence could lead to compliance and other glitches. Therefore, you should use AI ethically to ensure that you do not violate any laws and regulations, and remain socially responsible. While you can draw on AI to intensify employee productivity, and improve customer experience, it remains vital that you don’t lose sight of data security and evenhandedness during assessments.

What Is ISO 42001?

The good news is that you can now refer to the guidelines of the recently published ISO 42001, also known as AI Management System Standard (AI MSS) to efficiently manage your AI systems, and reiterate your commitment to utilizing AI responsibly. It provides a management system and governance framework to which organizations can refer to when developing AI solutions and products. Given that AI is being used extensively in manufacturing, in healthcare, and by as unrelated industry verticals as transportation and finance; adhering to an international standard like ISO 42001 enable your set up to deal with potential issues which might relate to ethics or compliance.

ISO 42001 Will Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Add to that, it will provide you with a referral point to make the processes connected with AI tools and systems which are transparent and comprehensible for even lay individuals. Even though the EU Commission had framed certain guidelines called the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2018 for the ethical use of AI; ISO 42001 provides organizations with the necessary structure for the creation, execution, continuation, and augmentation of an AI management system.  

Incorporate Accountability and Trustworthiness to Data Sets

Since AI possesses the capability to process humungous quantities of data, it should be used with care. In the long run, a governance framework like ISO 42001 will enable you to methodically deal with, and manage the risks related to the development and deployment of AI. If there is a suspicion of market manipulation through the unethical use of AI; the concerned organization will automatically become untrustworthy in the public perception. Accountability and trustworthiness of any data set could be put in jeopardy if there is even a hint of bias, especially, in cases where AI is being used to summarize the findings of surveys, verify a person’s creditworthiness, or to epitomize a white paper. Under such circumstances, acquiring ISO 42001 certification will add just that extra measure of trustworthiness to your AI product/s and/or solutions. It will also make your AI systems auditable.

Encourage Trust and Reliability by Using AI Responsibly

Legislators, industry leaders, and others had expressed fears that allowing such technology to evolve without any kind of oversight or regulation could jeopardize not merely the privacy of individuals, and smooth functioning of companies, but even the evolution of society and civilization as a whole in the next few decades. It is expected that ISO 42001 certification will encourage various organizations that use AI to adopt measures to ensure congruence with global practices, stimulate the adoption of controls unique to their AI systems and applications to earn the trust of the public by using AI sensibly. For example, when AI models are used for making predictions regarding the probable success of a new brand, application, or design; then it would be helpful to be able to trace the steps taken to arrive at a specific conclusion, especially in case of the prediction being way off.

Reduce Costs, and Improve Operational Efficiency by Adopting ISO 42001

Creating an international standard for AI required a massive multidisciplinary effort involving not just law and policy makers, but also scientists, community groups, and various companies which are technology driven. There was an attempt at cost reduction since AI development processes can be streamlined and standardized to throw up best practices, which in turn improve operational efficiency. Healthcare organizations like facilities, diagnostic centers, clinics, and pharmacies can improve patient outcomes when they use AI systems that incorporate the features to assure the quality standards and reliability mandated by ISO 42001. Adoption of this international standard will enable you to refine fraud detection, and boost risk management.

Overcoming the Challenges of Unregulated Technology

The biggest challenge presented by unregulated technology is its use in actions which are intrinsically unfair or deceptive. One of the greatest threats that wide-ranging use of AI poses is to data security and privacy given how comprehensively it delves into personal data of individuals to make marketing pitches more sharply targeted. Using AI to gather data might speed up the process, but if you try to use it situations which call for ruthlessly logical reasoning, you could be headed down disaster street. Artificial intelligence empowers computers and other digital devices to reproduce, or even refine, the potential of the human mind. However, it cannot replace the fuzzy logic used by the human brain to arrive at certain conclusions.

Do this: Anonymization and encryption are the two major data security measures you can take to preserve individuals’ privacy.

No, Don’t Replace Humans with AI Just Yet

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology[i] (MIT) recently published a report on if, or not, it would be economical to use AI to replace humans. The findings indicated that in most cases, the costs of substituting AI in place could prove prohibitive, thereby negating any positive results its use might generate. Your organization can ensure that the decision-making processes are free from bias and discrimination when you integrate the recommendations of ISO 42001 by reflecting fairness and transparency in the design and implementation of AI systems and applications. Note that the management requirements of ISO 42001 to manage AI systems effectively include leadership, planning, support, operation, performance evaluation, and continual improvement.


The launch of ISO 42001 has provided developers and designers of AI tools, products, and applications on vital standards which can aid in evaluating the potential impact on people individually and collectively. The transparency, fairness, efficacy, and reliability of not just AI functionality, but also of the results it generates needs to be regulated. It has also set up certain norms to verify how data is being used to assure that ethical and legal norms are not violated.

Key Takeaways

  1. AI reduces the drudgery of monotonous and routine work.
  2. Guidelines issued by ISO 42001 will enable you to utilize AI responsibly and ethically.
  3. Acquiring ISO 42001 certification will add to the trustworthiness to your AI product/s and/or solutions.
  4. Adopt controls to refine fraud detection, and boost risk management.
  5. Reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency by adopting ISO 42001.

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About the Author

By Harini Pallavi

Harini Pallavi ( is the Co-Founder and the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Frigg Business Solutions at Sheridan, Wyoming, USA, and Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Harini is an accomplished information security expert who led critical security initiatives that shielded multinational corporations from cyber-attacks, thwarted data breaches, and secured critical infrastructure. Harini has successfully implemented the Health Information Trust Alliance – (HITRUST) common security framework and ensured 100% compliance in all these organizations. She is a Certified Risk Professional (CRiSP), Information Security Lead Auditor, HITRUST Implementor, HIPAA Compliance Expert, and is Certified in Six Sigma (Black belt & Green belt).