Public procurement of artificial intelligence systems: new risks and future proofing

Paper by Merve Hickok: “Public entities around the world are increasingly deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic decision-making systems to provide public services or to use their enforcement powers. The rationale for the public sector to use these systems is similar to private sector: increase efficiency and speed of transactions and lower the costs. However, public entities are first and foremost established to meet the needs of the members of society and protect the safety, fundamental rights, and wellbeing of those they serve. Currently AI systems are deployed by the public sector at various administrative levels without robust due diligence, monitoring, or transparency. This paper critically maps out the challenges in procurement of AI systems by public entities and the long-term implications necessitating AI-specific procurement guidelines and processes. This dual-prong exploration includes the new complexities and risks introduced by AI systems, and the institutional capabilities impacting the decision-making process. AI-specific public procurement guidelines are urgently needed to protect fundamental rights and due process…(More)”.