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Umbrella AI Policy Template

AI policies provide your company's employees with a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI). Your policies should cover data privacy, bias, transparency, and accountability. They should also provide guidance on how to handle potential ethical dilemmas. Remember, these policies are living documents, evolving as the technology and its uses evolve.

You can leverage this example as a starting point to build your AI policies. Review below or download as a template to the right. You may also want to reference the Microsoft Responsible AI Standard.

*There are FAQs below on writing an AI Policy below.


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[Company] AI Policy


1. Purpose

This AI policy aims to establish guidelines and best practices for the responsible and ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within [Company Name]. It ensures that our employees are using AI systems and platforms in a manner that aligns with the company's values, adheres to legal and regulatory standards, and promotes the safety and well-being of our stakeholders.


2. Scope

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, and partners of [Company Name] who use or interact with AI systems, including but not limited to all LLMs, plugins and data enabled AI tools.


3. Policy

3.1. Responsible AI Use

Employees must use AI systems responsibly and ethically, avoiding any actions that could harm others, violate privacy, or facilitate malicious activities.


3.2. Compliance with Laws and Regulations

AI systems must be used in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including data protection, privacy, and intellectual property laws.


3.3. Transparency and Accountability

Employees must be transparent about the use of AI in their work, ensuring that stakeholders are aware of the technology's involvement in decision-making processes. Employees must utilize [Company Name]’s centralized system for AI governance and compliance efforts (‘AI System of Record’) to ensure transparency of proposed and active AI activities. Employees are responsible for the outcomes generated by AI systems and should be prepared to explain and justify those outcomes.

3.4. Data Privacy and Security

Employees must adhere to the company's data privacy and security policies when using AI systems. They must ensure that any personal or sensitive data used by AI systems is anonymized and stored securely.


3.5. Bias and Fairness

Employees must actively work to identify and mitigate biases in AI systems. They should ensure that these systems are fair, inclusive, and do not discriminate against any individuals or groups.


3.6. Human-AI Collaboration

Employees should recognize the limitations of AI and always use their judgment when interpreting and acting on AI-generated recommendations. AI systems should be used as a tool to augment human decision-making, not replace it.


3.7. Training and Education

Employees who use AI systems must receive appropriate training on how to use them responsibly and effectively. They should also stay informed about advances in AI technology and potential ethical concerns.


3.8. Third-Party Services

When utilizing third-party AI services or platforms, employees must ensure that the providers adhere to the same ethical standards and legal requirements as outlined in this policy.


4. Implementation and Monitoring

4.1. AI Governance Board

A multidisciplinary AI risk management team (‘AI Governance Board’) comprised of a diverse team of experts, including data scientists, legal and compliance professionals, and ethics specialists will ensure that AI initiatives are developed and deployed responsibly, in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and with ethical considerations in mind. The AI Governance Board will create and define roles and responsibilities for designated committees critical to the oversight of [Company Name]’s AI initiatives. (example, AI Ethics Committee)


4.2. Designated AI Officer

A designated AI Officer will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy, providing guidance and support to employees, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

4.3. Periodic Reviews

The AI Officer will conduct periodic reviews of AI system use within the company to ensure adherence to this policy, identify any emerging risks, and recommend updates to the policy as necessary.


4.4. Incident Reporting

Employees must report any suspected violations of this policy or any potential ethical, legal, or regulatory concerns related to AI use to the AI Officer or through the company's established reporting channels.


5. Enforcement

Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with [Company Name]'s disciplinary policies and procedures.


6. Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually or as needed, based on the evolution of AI technology and the regulatory landscape. Any changes to the policy will be communicated to all employees.


7. Effective Date

This policy is effective as of [Date].

AI Guardian logo. AI Guardian enables AI-driven innovation and performance improvement through governance, risk and compliance (GRC) systems, mitigating AI-related risks and balancing speed with safety.

FAQ - Take a Deeper Dive

How do you write an AI policy?


Writing an AI policy involves outlining principles, guidelines, and rules that govern the ethical creation, deployment, and management of artificial intelligence technologies. Here's a structured approach to crafting an effective AI policy:

1. Establish the Purpose and Scope

  • Define Objectives: Clearly state why the AI policy is being created and what it aims to achieve.

  • Scope: Determine the areas of AI application that the policy will cover, such as AI in product development, data analysis, automated decisions, and customer interactions.

2. Ground the Policy in Core Values

  • Ethical Principles: Root the policy in universal ethical principles like fairness, accountability, transparency, and respect for user privacy.

  • Legal Compliance: Ensure the policy aligns with all relevant international, national, and industry-specific legal frameworks.

3. Address Transparency and Accountability

  • Explainability: Policies should include the ability to explain how AI systems make decisions, especially if they directly affect individuals.

  • Audit Mechanisms: Establish procedures for regular audits to confirm compliance with the policy and regulatory requirements.

4. Focus on Data Management

  • Data Quality: Implement standards for the quality and integrity of data used to train AI systems.

  • Data Privacy: Create strict guidelines for the collection, storage, and processing of data, respecting user privacy as per regulations like GDPR.

5. Ensure AI Reliability and Safety

  • Security Measures: Highlight the importance of protecting AI systems from cyber threats and data breaches.

  • Robustness: AI systems should be resistant to manipulation and incorporate the capacity to recover from errors.

6. Include Human Oversight

  • Human-in-the-loop (HitL): Ensure that there are provisions for human intervention in automated processes.

  • Responsibility Assignment: Define roles and responsibilities for individuals overseeing AI operations.

7. Promote AI Benefits and Minimize Risks

  • Inclusivity and Accessibility: Encourage the design of AI systems that are accessible and beneficial for a diverse range of users.

  • Risk Assessment: Regularly evaluate the potential risks associated with AI technologies.

8. Training and Awareness

  • Educate Stakeholders: Develop ongoing education programs for employees, stakeholders, and users on AI policy, ethics, and safety.

  • Public Awareness: Communicate policy principles to the public, especially if AI systems are used in consumer interactions.

9. Encourage Open Dialogue and Collaboration

  • Participation: Foster an environment where feedback is encouraged, allowing for policy refinement and stakeholder engagement.

  • Partnerships: Work with other organizations to set industry standards and share best practices.

10. Monitor and Update the Policy

  • Evolving Standards: Recognize that AI is a rapidly evolving field and regularly update policies to reflect new developments and insights.

  • Measurable Outcomes: Set clear metrics to track the policy's effectiveness and make data-driven adjustments.

What are the steps to putting an AI policy in place?

First, write your AI policy using the steps above. It is best to gather a cross-functional group of stakeholders, such as an AI Governance Board to provide input into the policy. After drafting the AI policy, it should be reviewed by legal experts to ensure compliance.


Then, disseminate the policy throughout the organization for implementation. Best practice is to track employee attestation to the policy for accountability purposes (i.e. each employee confirms that they have reviewed and agree to abode by the policy). This can be done manually or you can use a tool such as AI Guardian to manage that process. 

The AI policy is a living document and should be iteratively improved based on performance evaluations and new insights.

What is a good AI policy?

A well-designed policy on Artificial Intelligence provides information that employers need to understand about enabling and restricting AI at work. Employer policy should clearly state the expected outcome so employees understand how to prepare.

How do I draft an AI policy?

List specific use cases for AI in an organization - why, how? Assess the risks corresponding to such a situation.

What should be in a generative AI policy?

One of the major factors determining generative AI strategy must be their responsible use at work and to ensure employees use them properly. Give examples of the tasks an employer should perform using the technology. These are likely specific to teams or departments.

How is AI being used in small businesses?

AI can improve businesses' productivity, cost reductions, marketing and sales. Small business can use artificial intelligence tools to provide a broad variety of business areas.

What is an AI policy for corporations?

An AI policy for corporations generally outlines guidelines and principles that govern the development, deployment, and use of artificial intelligence within the organization. These policies are crucial for ensuring ethical practices, managing risk, and complying with relevant laws and regulations. AI policies for corporations differ from other AI policies, such as those designed for governments, academic institutions, or non-profits, mainly due to the specific contexts, objectives, and stakeholders involved. Here are several key differences:


  • Business Objectives Alignment: Corporate AI policies should be closely aligned with business goals and objectives. They focus on leveraging AI to enhance competitiveness, increase efficiency, improve customer experiences, and drive innovation, while also addressing risks and ethical concerns specific to their business operations.Compliance and Liability: Corporations have to strictly comply with a wide range of industry-specific regulations and laws, including those related to data protection, consumer rights, and financial accountability. This means their AI policies must not only address ethical use but also legal compliance to avoid liabilities.

  • Competitive Secrecy: Unlike academic or open-source environments where sharing of information and collaborative development are encouraged, corporate policies may emphasize protecting intellectual property and maintaining confidentiality around AI technologies to sustain competitive advantages.

  • Resource Allocation: Corporate policies often detail the allocation of substantial resources for AI development and deployment, including investments in technology, hiring of talent, and training of employees. This level of resource commitment may differ significantly from that in non-profit or smaller organizational contexts.

  • Stakeholder Management: Corporate AI policies typically focus more intensely on stakeholder management, considering the impact of AI on customers, investors, employees, and partners. This involves clear communication strategies and engagement practices to manage expectations and build trust.

  • Scale and Scope of Impact: The scale and scope of AI deployment in corporations can be vast, influencing multiple aspects of operations from supply chain management to customer interaction. Corporate AI policies, therefore, need to address a broader range of operational and strategic impacts compared to more focused or localized policies of smaller entities.

  • Ethical Considerations and Brand Image: Corporations are particularly sensitive to how their use of AI affects their brand image. This sensitivity drives the need for well-articulated ethical standards within AI policies to ensure they uphold corporate social responsibility and maintain public trust.

  • Innovation Versus Risk Management: There is often a more pronounced tension between driving innovation and managing risks in corporate settings. AI policies must balance these aspects to both exploit the advantages of AI and mitigate potential downsides, such as job displacement or ethical concerns.


In essence, corporate AI policies are tailored to integrate the strategic use of AI technologies within the broader business strategy and regulatory framework, focusing on both performance and compliance.

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