Israel has unveiled its Policy on Artificial Intelligence Regulation and Ethics

Israel has unveiled its first-ever comprehensive policy on AI regulation and ethics, demonstrating a commitment to responsible innovation and addressing the complex challenges associated with the widespread use of AI in various sectors.

The policy, officially launched today, is the fruit of collaborative efforts led by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, in conjunction with the Office of Legal Counsel and Legislative Affairs (Economic Law Department) at the Ministry of Justice. As AI systems become integral to industries worldwide, Israel recognizes the need for proactive measures to ensure responsible use and mitigate potential risks. The policy, which builds upon extensive consultations with government departments, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector, establishes a framework to foster innovation while addressing concerns related to bias, transparency, safety, accountability, and privacy.

Key Highlights of Israel's AI Policy:

1. Comprehensive approach: The AI Policy identifies seven main challenges arising from private sector AI use: discrimination, human oversight, explainability, disclosure of AI interactions, safety, accountability, and privacy.

2. Collaborative development: The AI Policy is formulated through collaboration with various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Justice, the Israel Innovation Authority, the Privacy Protection Authority, the Israeli National Cyber Directorate, the Israel National Digital Agency, leading AI companies in Israel and academia.

3. Policy principles: Aligned with the OECD AI Recommendations, Israel's AI Policy outlines common policy principles and practical recommendations to address challenges and foster responsible AI innovation.

4. Responsible innovation concept: Emphasizing the concept of "Responsible Innovation," the AI Policy aims to balance innovation and ethics, viewing them as synergistic rather than conflicting goals.

Main Policy Recommendations:

- Government Policy Framework: The AI Policy recommends empowering sectorspecific regulators, fostering international interoperability, adopting a risk-based approach, encouraging incremental development, using "soft" regulation, and promoting multistakeholder cooperation.

- Ethical AI Principles: The AI Policy suggests adopting a common set of ethical AI principles based on the OECD AI Principles, focusing on human-centric innovation, equality, transparency, reliability, accountability, and promoting sustainable development.

- AI Policy Coordination Center: It proposes to establish an expert-based inter-agency body to advise sectoral regulators, promote coordination, update government AI policy, advise on AI regulation, and represent Israel in international forums.

- Mapping AI Uses and Challenges: The AI Policy urges government entities and regulators to identify and map the uses of AI systems and associated challenges in regulated sectors.

- Forums for Regulators and Public Participation: It recommends establishing forums for regulators and multistakeholder participation to promote coordination, coherence, and open discussions. - International Collaboration: It encourages active involvement in developing international regulation and standards to promote global interoperability.

- Tools for Responsible AI: The policy calls for the development of tools, including a risk management tool, to enable responsible AI development and use, with the AI Policy Coordination Center leading this effort. Israel's AI Policy marks a significant step towards ensuring responsible and ethical AI innovation, setting a precedent for other nations grappling with similar challenges. The government's commitment to collaboration, transparency, and adaptability reflects its dedication to fostering a thriving AI ecosystem while safeguarding societal values.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Ofir Akunis: “Following the completion of comprehensive and professional work at the highest levels, I have decided to adopt the conclusions of policy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) regulation and ethics. The revolutionary impact of AI technology is yielding constant improvements in the quality of life of Israel’s citizens in countless fields of activity, including in health care, science, technology, agriculture, education, and security. However, together with its many benefits, there are also many risks. we must ensure that humans remain at the center of AI development, and that policy-makers in the field are equipped with a set of shared principles. These principles facilitate development and responsible innovation, promoting research, development and use pf AI systems, while safeguarding fundamental rights such as privacy and equality. Now that the policy document has been completed and made public, I intend to spearhead the adopting of a Government Decision to have the policy adopted by the Government of Israel. As such, it will provide clear instructions to regulators to regulators in their response to the various regulatory challenges posed by AI systems. This will, in turn, strengthen Israel's global technological leadership and help promote responsible innovation.”

Meir Levin, Deputy Attorney General (Economic Law), Ministry of Justice: “In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, AI presents unprecedented opportunities for our society and economy. Responsibly integrating AI into various aspects of life necessitates adapting our legal and regulatory frameworks. We must ensure that the integration of AI aligns with the public interest and human rights while avoiding unnecessary barriers that could hinder the local industry and deprive the public of innovative products and services. The recommendations in the report represent a significant milestone, providing guidance for the government's future work in AI regulation. I commend the collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology, as well as our partners in the Ministry of Justice. I look forward to continuing this important work in the field."

Israel's Policy on Artificial Intelligence Regulation and Ethics