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AI Compliance for Software

“Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower.” —Alan Kay

Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of everyone’s life. AI is part of our lives, from the mobile devices we use with face recognition and many other features to door locks and virtual AI-powered assistants. AI has changed the perception of how we interact with technology. Any device that we look at is getting smarter because of AI. A few examples are home appliances, our vehicles, traffic controls, and banking. AI controls everything.

However, as technology advances, the risk that technology poses also elevates. So now it’s a strong responsibility to ensure the ethical development of AI follows AI compliance.

We will discuss AI compliance, its importance, and much more here.

What is AI Compliance?

AI compliance refers to organizations’ adherence to established rules, guidelines, and legal requirements governing the development, deployment, and use of AI technologies. That means AI applications should align with ethical standards, privacy regulations, and industry-specific requirements. AI compliance ensures that AI decisions are fair, transparent, and unbiased and do not harm users’ privacy.

To achieve AI compliance, robust mechanisms to monitor AI operations, regular audits for AI systems to review any deviation from compliance norms, and employing practices like explainable AI (XAI) to maintain transparency are required.

Importance of AI Compliance

There are many reasons why AI compliance is crucial for users in different roles. So, let’s go through the reasons:

Legal and Regulatory Landscape

As AI applications become increasingly common daily, the government establishes regulations to govern their development and deployment. These regulations will help address issues like data privacy (GDPR and CCPA) and algorithmic bias, making AI decision-making more transparent. Any non-compliance can lead to reputational damage and hefty fines.

Protecting User Privacy

AI algorithms work based on interpreting a vast amount of data. So, there is always a concern about how this data is collected, stored, and used by AI applications. AI compliance ensures that data handling practices are ethical and legal, focussing more on transparency and building trust with users.

Mitigating Bias and Discrimination

Unfortunately, AI can produce results based on the bias found in the data on which they have been trained. This can lead to discriminatory outcomes, like loan denials in financial services or unfair hiring in recruitment software. So, AI compliances emphasize identifying these types of bias and mitigating them to ensure fairness.

Ensuring Fairness and Explainability

For an end-user, the AI application is like a black box; we are not sure how the decisions are made or the logic behind the decision-making. This raises a lack of transparency, which creates trust issues among the users. AI compliance focuses on explainable AI, where users can understand the logic behind decision-making. This helps to mitigate any bias that is found and also increases user trust.

Promoting Responsible Innovation

A robust AI framework encourages the responsible development and deployment of AI systems. This promotes innovation for good, ensuring that AI technologies are used ethically and contribute positively to society. Various data protection regulations protect user privacy and require explicit user consent for data processing.

Enhancing Data Protection

AI applications involve processing vast amounts of personal data. Non-compliance may result in a privacy breach, where an individual’s sensitive information is mishandled without proper consent.

AI Compliance in Software Development

Building AI-powered software that adheres to compliance principles requires a multi-layered approach, with development and testing playing a vital role. Let’s look into some key areas:

Data Governance

Establishing clear and comprehensive guidelines for data collection, storage, usage, and disposal is crucial. This includes minimizing data collection (collecting only what’s necessary) and implementing anonymization techniques to enhance user privacy. Rigorous testing can ensure these guidelines are followed throughout the development lifecycle.

Algorithmic Bias Detection and Mitigation

Employing diverse datasets during training helps mitigate bias. Additionally, utilizing bias detection tools like IBM AI Fairness 360, Google What-If Tool, Microsoft Fairlearn, etc, during testing and maintaining human oversight throughout the development process allows for identifying and addressing potential biases within algorithms.

Model Explainability

Developing AI systems that explain their decision-making processes is crucial. Techniques like feature importance analysis can clarify factors influencing an algorithm’s output, enabling users to understand the reasoning behind its conclusions. Integrating explainability techniques like LIME (Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations), SHAP (SHapley Additive exPlanations), Feature Importance, etc., into the testing process allows for verifying that the AI is functioning as intended and providing clear explanations for its decisions.

Risk Management

Proactively identifying and mitigating risks associated with AI deployment is essential. This includes assessing potential harms, such as privacy breaches or algorithmic discrimination. Establishing safeguards and having contingency plans minimizes these risks and ensures responsible deployment. Testing scenarios that simulate potential risks helps identify areas where the AI might malfunction or produce unintended consequences. Read: Risk-based Testing: A Strategic Approach to QA.

Continuous Monitoring and Auditing

Regularly monitoring AI systems for performance, bias, and compliance with regulations is essential. This allows for ongoing improvement and ensures continued responsible use of AI software. Automated testing tools like testRigor can continuously monitor AI performance and identify deviations from expected behavior. Read here: Understanding Test Monitoring and Test Control.

Testing for AI Compliance

When testing AI applications, we need to use a different approach than what we used for traditional applications. Testing AI applications is more challenging and complicated than testing older ones. This article provides a glimpse of the Future of Testing.

So, let’s review a few approaches that we can use for testing AI applications:

Testing for Bias and Fairness

While designing test cases, we must ensure that the test case evaluates the model’s performance across different demographics and scenarios. To achieve that, it’s better to use techniques like fairness metrics and counterfactual analysis.

Testing Explainability

We can use different explanation methods like LIME and SHAP for testing explainability. But ensure those selected methods provide users with a clear understanding of how decisions are made. It’s the tester’s responsibility to ensure explanations are not misleading or overly complex.

Data Security Testing

Data Security testing is critical; here, we assess the effectiveness of security measures designed to protect data from unauthorized access, modification, and destruction. Data Security testing involves vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, risk assessment, and security auditing. Common tools used are Nessus, Wireshark, SQLmap, etc.

Edge Case Testing

Explore scenarios outside the training data to identify potential vulnerabilities. This may involve adversarial testing or creating synthetic data for uncommon situations. For this, we can use AI-powered tools like testRigor to perform efficient data-driven testing, positive and negative testing, etc.

Shifting from Code Coverage to Functionality Coverage

Instead of focusing exclusively on code execution, you need to focus more on testing the actual functionalities of the AI system in real-world conditions. End-to-end testing should cover all the edge-case scenarios using tools like testRigor. Read here: How to do End-to-end Testing with testRigor.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

Integrate AI-specific testing procedures into your development pipeline. Automate as much of the testing process as possible for efficiency. Read here for more details: Continuous Integration and Testing: Best Practices.

AI Compliance Testing with testRigor

While traditional testing methods play a crucial role in AI compliance, specialized tools like testRigor offer unique advantages tailored for the complexities of AI systems:

  • AI-powered Test Generation: Using testRigor’s generative AI, you can generate test cases or test data by providing a description alone. This helps to cover more edge case scenarios and also helps to find potential bias or any unexpected issue that standard testing may not catch.
  • Accessibility Testing Integration: Many regulations, like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), require software to be accessible to users with disabilities. testRigor supports accessibility testing out of the box. testRigor uses industry-leading Deque Axe Devtools for accessibility testing. With testRigor and Deque axe DevTools integration, you can test accessibility compliance for Section 508, ADA, ACAA, AODA, CVAA, EN 301 549, VPAT, and more.

You can watch this video to get more details. Read: How to Build an ADA-compliant App and How to achieve DORA compliance.

  • Focus on User Behavior: Traditional testing often focuses on functionality, but AI compliance goes beyond that. testRigor allows testers to define tests from a user perspective, specifying how users interact with the AI system and the expected outcomes. This user-centric approach aligns perfectly with the core principles of AI compliance, ensuring the system behaves pretty and ethically in real-world use cases.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Reporting: testRigor can continuously monitor your AI system’s performance and compliance. This allows you to proactively identify issues, such as bias creep or performance degradation, and address them before they impact users. Regular reports generated by testRigor provide valuable insights into the system’s behavior, aiding ongoing compliance efforts.
  • Reduced QA Overhead: Automating repetitive testing tasks through testRigor frees up valuable time and resources for your QA team. This allows them to focus on more complex testing scenarios and human oversight tasks, which is crucial for ensuring responsible AI deployment. Read: Why Do You Need Test Automation?
  • Cross-browser and Cross-platform Support: Using testRigor, you can perform cross-browser and cross-platform testing singlehandedly. You can perform in any browser and different browser versions.
Now let’s review a sample testRigor test case:
login as customer
click "Verify Your KYC"
enter stored value "FirstName" into "First Name"
enter stored value "LastName" into "Last Name"
enter stored value "DOB" into "Date Of Birth"
enter stored value "address" into "Address"
enter stored value "email" into "Email ID"
enter stored value "phone" into "Mobile"
click "Save" roughly to the left of "Submit"
check the page contains "KYC Application Pending"

This sample test script demonstrates that it doesn’t contain complex code. Additionally, with testRigor, we can create reusable functions and save them for future use. This eliminates the need to write all steps repeatedly; instead, we can simply invoke the function, such as “login as customer.” Read: How to use reusable rules or subroutines in testRigor?

Furthermore, we can store values with identifiers and easily reference them in the script, as seen in the command “enter stored value ‘FirstName’ into ‘First Name.”

testRigor helps you validate files, audio, 2FA, video, email, SMS, phone calls, mathematical validations/calculations of formulas, APIs, Chrome extensions, and many more complex scenarios. Access testRigor documentation and top testRigor’s features to learn about more valuable capabilities.

AI Regulatory Frameworks

We know that AI is a rapidly growing field, and it requires solid regulatory frameworks for monitoring and ensuring that AI systems are developed responsibly and ethically. Let’s go through a few of the regulatory frameworks:

Data Protection and Digital Information Processing Bill (DPDPB) (India)

  • Focus: Regulates the collection, storage, usage, and transfer of personal data.
  • Relevance to AI: Ensures ethical data handling practices for AI systems, particularly those relying on personal data.
  • Key Considerations for Organizations:
    • Implement robust data governance practices to comply with data minimization, anonymization, and user consent requirements.
    • Conduct Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) for high-risk AI applications.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU)

  • Focus: Protects the privacy of individuals within the EU by regulating data collection, storage, and usage.
  • Relevance to AI: Similar to DPDPB, ensures ethical data handling practices for AI systems, particularly those processing EU citizen data.
  • Key Considerations for Organizations:
    • Adhere to GDPR principles like transparency, purpose limitation, and data subject rights.
    • Implement data security measures and user consent mechanisms.

European Union Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) (EU)

  • Focus: Comprehensive legislation on AI in development aims to regulate high-risk AI applications.
  • Relevance to AI: Sets specific requirements for high-risk AI applications like facial recognition or credit scoring. Focuses on risk management, transparency, and human oversight.
  • Key Considerations for Organizations:
    • Classify AI applications based on risk levels (prohibited, high-risk, low-risk).
    • Implement robust risk management plans for high-risk AI.
    • Ensure transparency in AI decision-making processes.

Algorithmic Accountability Act (AAA) (US)

  • Focus: Promotes accountability in algorithmic decision-making, particularly those impacting high-stakes areas like employment or credit. (Currently not enacted)
  • Relevance to AI: Focuses on ensuring fairness and non-discrimination in AI outcomes.
  • Key Considerations for Organizations:
    • Conduct bias audits and implement fairness checks during AI development.
    • Provide explanations for algorithmic decisions, especially in high-stakes scenarios.

Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) (China)

  • Focus: Regulates the collection, storage, usage, and transfer of personal data within China.
  • Relevance to AI: Similar to GDPR and DPDPB, ethical data handling practices for AI systems operating in China are ensured.
  • Key Considerations for Organizations:
    • Comply with data localization requirements for certain types of data.
    • Obtain user consent for data collection and usage.

Challenges in AI regulatory compliance

Navigating AI regulatory compliance involves several challenges that organizations must address to ensure their AI systems operate within legal and ethical boundaries. Let’s understand a few common challenges:

  • Rapid Technological Advancement: AI technology evolves very quickly. This fast pace can make it hard for regulations, which take longer to develop and implement, to keep up. As a result, companies might find themselves in a situation where new AI functionalities or applications are not clearly covered by existing laws.
  • Variability in Regulations: Different countries and regions have their own rules about AI. This variability can make it tricky for international companies to create AI solutions that are compliant everywhere they operate. Each location might require different approaches to compliance, adding complexity and effort.
  • Complexity of AI Systems: AI systems can be complex and sometimes operate like a “black box,” where it’s not clear how decisions are made. This lack of transparency makes it challenging to verify that the AI complies with all relevant laws and regulations, particularly those concerning fairness and bias.
  • Ethical Considerations: Beyond legal compliance, there are ethical concerns about AI, such as ensuring fairness and avoiding bias. These are subjective areas that can be difficult to measure and regulate. Companies must not only follow the law but also consider the broader ethical implications of their AI systems.
  • Data Privacy: AI systems often depend on large amounts of data, including sensitive personal information. Ensuring this data is handled securely and in compliance with privacy laws like GDPR in Europe or CCPA in California poses a significant challenge. This involves securing data against breaches and ensuring that data collection and use practices respect user privacy.
  • Resource Intensive: Developing and maintaining AI compliance can require substantial resources, including hiring experts, training staff, and implementing systems to monitor compliance. For many organizations, particularly smaller ones, the cost and effort required can be a significant barrier.

Addressing these challenges requires a coordinated effort between governments, regulatory bodies, developers, and other stakeholders to develop clear, adaptive, and effective regulatory frameworks that can keep pace with the fast-evolving nature of AI technology.


By working together and prioritizing responsible AI development, we can build a future where AI improves our lives in a fair, ethical, and transparent manner. AI compliance, focusing on testing, user behavior, and ongoing monitoring, is vital in this journey.

Tools like testRigor can empower developers and QA teams to ensure their AI systems operate ethically and responsibly, fostering trust and paving the way for a future powered by beneficial AI. Remember, AI compliance is not a one-time effort; it’s an ongoing process that requires continuous adaptation and improvement.

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