The AI transparency standard is out

Nine cities set standards for the transparent use of Artificial Intelligence through a common Algorithmic Transparency Standard

AI transparency register

Gabriela Ruseva
Project Coordinator

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 sets common guidelines on the information to be collected on algorithms and their use by a city. It 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 (as opposed to advanced AI such as facial recognition), the joint work by the cities of Barcelona, Bologna, Brussels, Eindhoven, Mannheim, Rotterdam, and Sofia based on the example set by Amsterdam and Helsinki, aims to pre-empt any future data misuse and create an interoperable model that can be shared and copied by other cities.

“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 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 also involved an expert in data, who 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.

Further information, including the full transparency standard with the data schema, can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.algorithmregister.org/

The cities of Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Mannheim, Bologna, Brussels, Barcelona, and Sofia cooperated through Eurocities Digital Forum Lab, basing their work on the previous initiative of Amsterdam and Helsinki. Read more about their work and the feedback of the city experts on the Eurocities website.

The examples from Amsterdam and Helsinki can be found here:

  1. https://algoritmeregister.amsterdam.nl/en/ai-register/
  2. https://ai.hel.fi/en/ai-register/

In line with the commitments of the living-in.eu movement, 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. 

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