Commons-based Data Set: Governance for AI

Report by Open Future: “In this white paper, we propose an approach to sharing data sets for AI training as a public good governed as a commons. By adhering to the six principles of commons-based governance, data sets can be managed in a way that generates public value while making shared resources resilient to extraction or capture by commercial interests.

The purpose of defining these principles is two-fold:

We propose these principles as input into policy debates on data and AI governance. A commons-based approach can be introduced through regulatory means, funding and procurement rules, statements of principles, or data sharing frameworks. Secondly, these principles can also serve as a blueprint for the design of data sets that are governed and shared as a commons. To this end, we also provide practical examples of how these principles are being brought to life. Projects like Big Science or Common Voice have demonstrated that commons-based data sets can be successfully built.

These principles, tailored for the governance of AI data sets, are built on our previous work on Data Commons Primer. They are also the outcome of our research into the governance of AI datasets, including the AI_Commons case study.  Finally, they are based on ongoing efforts to define how AI systems can be shared and made open, in which we have been participating – including the OSI-led process to define open-source AI systems, and the DPGA Community of Practice exploring AI systems as Digital Public Goods…(More)”.

The six principles for commons-based data set governance are as follows:

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