On March 13, 2023, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) published a companion document to the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA).  The Government of Canada introduced the AIDA in June 2022 as part of Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022, as previously reported by the E-TIPS® Newsletter here.  The companion document provides an overview of Canada’s artificial intelligence (AI) landscape and further details how the AIDA would work in practice.

The companion document begins by highlighting the impact AI systems have on the lives of Canadians and the operation of Canadian businesses.  It notes that as AI’s capabilities and scale of deployment expand, it is important for standards to emerge for businesses and the public to have clear expectations regarding how the technology should be managed.  The document states that “[t]he AIDA represents an important milestone in implementing the Digital Charter and ensuring that Canadians can trust the digital technologies that they use every day”. 

The companion document proposes a regulatory consultation timeline for the implementation of the initial set of the AIDA regulations, provides details on how high-impact systems are to be defined under the AIDA, as well as measures to mitigate potential harm or biased output in high-impact systems.  Some highlights include:

Proposed Regulatory Consultation Timeline

The companion document states that there will be a period of at least two years after Bill C-27 receives Royal Assent before the new AIDA regulations come into force, meaning that the provisions of the AIDA will not be in force before 2025.

High-Impact AI Systems

The AIDA will require organizations using “high-impact” AI systems to adopt measures to identify, assess and mitigate the risk of harm and bias.  The companion document outlines the key factors to be examined in determining whether an AI system is considered “high-impact”, which include the severity of potential harms, scale of use, nature of harms or adverse impacts that have already taken place, among others.  The companion document also outlines that obligations for high-impact AI systems would be guided by the following six principles: human oversight and monitoring; transparency; fairness and equity; safety; accountability; and validity and robustness.

Oversight and Enforcement

Lastly, the companion document discusses the oversight and enforcement mechanisms under the AIDA, noting that the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry would be responsible for the administration and enforcement of all parts of the AIDA that do not involve prosecutable offences.

For more information, please see the companion document.

Summary By: Victoria Di Felice


23 03 22

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