Minister Champagne launches voluntary code of conduct relating to advanced generative AI systems
Code sets voluntary commitments that industry can sign to demonstrate responsible development and management of generative artificial intelligence systems
September 27, 2023 – Montréal, Quebec
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced Canada's Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Responsible Development and Management of Advanced Generative AI Systems, which is effective immediately. The code identifies measures that organizations are encouraged to apply to their operations when they are developing and managing general-purpose generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The Government of Canada has already taken significant steps toward ensuring that AI technology evolves responsibly and safely through the proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), which was introduced as part of Bill C-27 in June 2022. This code is a critical bridge between now and when that legislation would be coming into force.The code outlines measures that are aligned with six core principles:
- Accountability: Organizations will implement a clear risk management framework proportionate to the scale and impact of their activities.
- Safety: Organizations will perform impact assessments and take steps to mitigate risks to safety, including addressing malicious or inappropriate uses.
- Fairness and equity: Organizations will assess and test systems for biases throughout the lifecycle.
- Transparency: Organizations will publish information on systems and ensure that AI systems and AI-generated content can be identified.
- Human oversight and monitoring: Organizations will ensure that systems are monitored and that incidents are reported and acted on.
- Validity and robustness: Organizations will conduct testing to ensure that systems operate effectively and are appropriately secured against attacks.
This code is based on the input received from a cross-section of stakeholders, including the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence, through the consultation on the development of a Canadian code of practice for generative AI systems. The government will publish a summary of feedback received during the consultation in the coming days. The code will also help reinforce Canada’s contributions to ongoing international deliberations on proposals to address common risks encountered with large-scale deployment of generative AI, including at the G7 and among like-minded partners.
“Advances in AI have captured the world’s attention with the immense opportunities they present. Canada is a global AI leader, among the top countries in the world, and Canadians have created many of the world’s top AI innovations. At the same time, Canada takes the potential risks of AI seriously. The government is committed to ensuring Canadians can trust AI systems used across the economy, which in turn will accelerate AI adoption. Through our Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Responsible Development and Management of
Advanced Generative AI Systems, leading Canadian companies will adopt responsible guardrails for advanced generative AI systems in order to build safety and trust as the technology spreads. We will continue to ensure Canada’s AI policies are fit for purpose in a fast-changing world.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“We are very pleased to see the Canadian government taking a strong leadership role in building a regulatory framework that will help society maximize the benefits of AI, while addressing the many legitimate concerns that exist. It is essential that we, as an industry, address key issues like bias and ensure that humans maintain a clear role in oversight and monitoring of this incredibly exciting technology.”
– Aidan Gomez, CEO and Co-founder, Cohere
“AI technologies represent immense opportunities for every citizen and business in Canada. The societal impacts of AI are profound across education, biotech, climate and the very nature of work. Canada’s AI Code of Conduct will help accelerate innovation and citizen adoption by setting the standard on how to do it best. As Canada’s largest software company, we are honoured to partner with Minister Champagne and the Government of Canada in supporting this important step forward.”
– Mark J. Barrenechea, CEO and CTO, OpenText
“CCI has been calling for Canada to take a leadership role on AI regulation, and this should be done in the spirit of collaboration between government and industry leaders. The AI Code of Conduct is a meaningful step in the right direction and marks the beginning of an ongoing conversation about how to build a policy ecosystem for AI that fosters public trust and creates the conditions for success among Canadian companies. The global landscape for artificial intelligence regulation and adoption will evolve, and we are optimistic to see future collaboration to adapt to the emerging technological reality.”
– Benjamin Bergen, President, Council of Canadian Innovators
The proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), part of Bill C-27, is designed to promote the responsible design, development and use of AI systems in Canada’s private sector, with a focus on systems with the greatest impact on health, safety and human rights (high-impact systems).
Since the introduction of the bill, the government has engaged extensively with stakeholders on AIDA and will continue to seek the advice of Canadians, experts—including the government’s Advisory Council on AI—and international partners on the novel challenges posed by generative AI, as outlined in the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) – Companion document.
Bill C-27 was adopted at second reading in the House of Commons in April 2023 and was referred to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology for study.
- Consultation on the development of a Canadian code of practice for generative artificial intelligence systems
- Introduction of Bill C-27: New laws to strengthen Canadians’ privacy protection and trust in the digital economy
- Canada’s Digital Charter and Bill C-27: Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022
- Artificial Intelligence and Data Act
- Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence
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Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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