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Touchapon Kraisingkorn
min read
June 27, 2024

Building Trust in AI: Principles and Best Practices

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize industries and improve lives, but it must be developed and deployed responsibly to gain and maintain public trust. Microsoft’s guidelines on trusted AI provide a comprehensive framework for creating ethical, transparent, and fair AI systems. This article summarizes these principles and offers practical examples to illustrate each point.

Principles of Responsible AI

1. Accountability

Accountability ensures that those who design and deploy AI systems are responsible for their actions and decisions. For instance, if an AI system used in healthcare misdiagnoses a patient, the developers and healthcare providers must be accountable for the error and take corrective actions. This principle encourages the establishment of clear roles and responsibilities within AI projects.

2. Inclusiveness

AI should be designed to consider all human experiences and demographics. For example, voice recognition systems should be trained on diverse datasets that include various accents, dialects, and languages to ensure they work effectively for all users. Inclusive design practices help prevent biases and ensure that AI benefits everyone.

3. Reliability and Safety

AI systems must perform reliably and safely, even in unforeseen situations. Consider autonomous vehicles: they must be able to navigate safely in various weather conditions and respond appropriately to unexpected obstacles. Rigorous testing and validation processes are essential to ensure AI systems operate as intended.

Illustration of a woman using a smartphone near a self-driving car with AI assistance.
Reliability and Safety: AI-powered self-driving

4. Explainability

AI systems should be able to justify their decisions and explain how they reach conclusions. For instance, a financial AI system that approves or denies loan applications should provide clear reasons for its decisions. This transparency helps users understand and trust the system’s outputs.

5. Fairness

AI systems should not discriminate based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion. For example, recruitment AI tools must be designed to evaluate candidates based on their skills and qualifications, not on biased criteria. Regular audits and bias mitigation techniques are crucial to maintaining fairness.

6. Transparency

Teams developing AI should have a thorough understanding of the data and algorithms used and be transparent about those data. For instance, in predictive policing, it is vital to know the sources of data and the logic behind the predictions to avoid reinforcing existing biases. Transparency fosters trust and accountability.

7. Privacy and Security

Protecting personal data is paramount. AI systems handling sensitive information, such as medical records, must implement robust security measures to prevent data breaches. Additionally, access controls should ensure that only authorized personnel can access personal data, safeguarding user privacy.

Illustration of a woman sitting on a locked folder, with a computer screen showing gears and a security shield
Robust measures are essential to protect sensitive data in AI systems

Human AI Guidelines

1. Initially

Clarify what the AI system can do and its limitations. For example, a customer service chatbot should inform users about the types of queries it can handle and when it might need to escalate issues to a human agent. This sets realistic expectations and enhances user experience.

2. During Interaction

Provide contextually relevant information and mitigate social biases. For instance, an AI-powered educational tool should adapt its content based on the student’s progress and learning style, ensuring personalized and unbiased support.

3. When Wrong

Support efficient dismissal and correction of errors. If a navigation AI suggests an incorrect route, it should allow users to easily override the suggestion and provide feedback. Clear explanations for the error help users trust the system despite occasional mistakes.

4. Over Time

Remember recent interactions and learn from user behavior. For example, a virtual assistant should recall previous user preferences and adapt its responses accordingly. However, updates should be cautious to avoid unintended consequences.

Trusted AI Framework

1. AI Designer

Responsible for ensuring data quality, minimizing biases, and optimizing monitoring systems. For instance, an AI designer working on a healthcare application must rigorously check the dataset for inaccuracies and biases that could affect patient outcomes.

2. AI Administrator and Officers

Oversee AI governance, audit framework operations, and monitor performance metrics. They ensure that AI systems comply with ethical standards and regulatory requirements, providing an additional layer of accountability.

Illustration of a man interacting with a smiling robot, adjusting settings on its display panel
AI Administrator and Officers

3. AI Business Consumers

Provide feedback to AI designers, focusing on predictive decision-making and potential bias implications. For example, business consumers using AI for market analysis should report any discrepancies or biases they observe, helping to refine and improve the system.

Tools and Resources

1. InterpretML

An open-source toolkit that enhances model explainability, allowing developers to understand and interpret AI decisions. This tool is particularly useful in sectors like finance and healthcare, where understanding AI logic is crucial.

2. Fairlearn

Integrated with Azure Machine Learning, Fairlearn assesses and improves AI fairness. It provides metrics and visualizations to help developers identify and mitigate biases, ensuring that AI systems are equitable.


By adhering to these principles and guidelines, organizations can develop ethical, transparent, and fair AI systems. Building trust in AI is not just about technology; it’s about ensuring that AI serves all of humanity responsibly and equitably.

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