Nine cities, cooperating through the Eurocities network, have developed a free to use open-source ‘data schema’ for algorithm registers in cities. The data schema, which sets common guidelines on the information to be collected on algorithms and their use by a city, supports the responsible use of AI and puts people at the heart of future developments in digital transformation.
While most cities primarily use only simple algorithms and not advanced AI such as facial recognition, the joint effort by seven European municipalities aims to pre-empt any future data misuse and create an interoperable model that can be shared and copied by other cities. The data schema was developed by Barcelona, Bologna, Brussels Capital Region, Eindhoven, Mannheim, Rotterdam and Sofia, based on the example set by Amsterdam and Helsinki.
“Artificial Intelligence can be an important enabler to improve public services and support policy making. However, its use also brings ethical concerns,” said André Sobczak, Secretary General, Eurocities. “The efforts undertaken by these cities aim to set a standard for the transparent and ethical use of algorithms while their use is still in its relative infancy across city administrations in Europe. In this way, they seek to offer both a safeguard for people whose data may be used by algorithms, and have created a validated model that other cities can use straight away, without having to invest further resources themselves.”
To develop the data schema, Eurocities, through its Digital Forum lab, built on the existing example of Amsterdam and Helsinki. Eurocities further enlisted the work of an expert in data, who has worked alongside experts from the cities to test and validate the content and functionality of the schema, to ensure ethical, transparent and fair use of algorithms.
Notes to editors:
- Further information, including the full transparency standard can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.algorithmregister.org/
- The cities of Barcelona, Bologna, Brussels Capital Region, Eindhoven, Mannheim, Rotterdam and Sofia cooperated through Eurocities Digital Forum Lab, basing their work on the previous initiative of Amsterdam and Helsinki. The Eurocities Digital Forum Lab aims to develop digital interoperable solutions for cities.
- The examples from Amsterdam and Helsinki can be found here:
- Eurocities wants to make cities places where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, is able to move around safely, access quality and inclusive public services and benefit from a healthy environment. We do this by networking more than 200 larger European cities, which together represent some 130 million people across 38 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy making impacts on people to inspire other cities and EU decision makers.
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