Artificial intelligence experts win prestigious ISO award

This year’s LDE Award celebrates a trailblazing committee laying the groundwork for the future of AI. 

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is creating waves in the global discourse, generating excitement and anxiety in equal measure.

Some analysts foresee AI causing mass turmoil across the job market, human relationships, and the value placed on creativity. Others view it as a powerful tool to augment human work and tackle global challenges like inclusion, access and productivity. 

A leader in AI standardization from ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the winner of this year’s Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award (LDE) for excellence in standards development. The LDE Award will be presented to Wael William Diab, Chair, and Heather Benko, Committee Manager, from joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 at the ISO Annual Meeting in Brisbane, Australia, taking place on 18-22 September 2023. 

The joint committee on AI is being honoured for their effective leadership, innovative approaches and proactive management and best practice in developing standards for this rapidly evolving technology. By providing business leaders and policymakers with the tools to establish responsible, ethical procedures, these foundational standards will provide long-term value through optimization and risk mitigation.  

Innovation for all 

The committee’s purpose is to build a holistic view of how AI will be developed, implemented and monitored. “Our goal is to support the broad and responsible adoption of AI,” commented Diab. “International Standards play a crucial role by bridging the gap between societal obligations, regulatory requirements and industry innovation.”  

Ensuring that AI technologies are developed and used responsibly is critical to addressing global challenges and accelerating progress towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive world. The committee unites a diverse array of global stakeholders from 59 countries, ranging from those deeply engaged in development, to those overseeing regulations to those seeking to leverage AI technology.  

Keeping pace with innovation 

Although AI’s trajectory remains unknown, its impact is already tangible. How can we ensure that technology with such tremendous potential contributes to the development of our world in a positive way? Constructive, open and productive conversations are essential. Establishing International Standards allows all key actors in the AI ecosystem – from developers to regulators to end users – to speak the same language.  

Creating regulatory tools and a shared framework requires time, expertise and collaboration. As AI becomes more integrated into business processes and individual life, these standards will play a pivotal role in balancing the possible risks with the potential rewards. With a common frame of reference, we can ensure the technology is ethical, effective and inclusive.  

Celebrating excellence 

Every year, the prestigious Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award provides recognition for superior performance by one of the ISO standards development groups. Inaugurated in 2003, this award is named in honour of ISOʼs late Secretary-General, Lawrence D. Eicher, whose 16-year tenure at ISO (1986-2002) saw the organization evolve from an institution with a predominantly technological focus to a market-oriented organization. ISO standards are increasingly recognized as bringing, in addition to solutions to technical problems, wider social and economic benefits. 

Get inspired by Wael at the session on artificial intelligence taking place at the ISO Annual Meeting 2023. Meet him in person in Brisbane or register here to join online! 

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