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Finnish Tax Administration’s ethical principles for AI

We want to be responsible and ethical in the ways we use artificial intelligence. For this reason, we have created a set of principles for the ethical use of AI.

Artificial intelligence can help us reach our strategic goals: ensuring tax revenue, fair tax assessment, and positive taxpayer experience.

By utilising AI, we can be more efficient in our operations and offer taxpayers better service. While AI takes care of some of the work, tax officials can concentrate on cases that require human expertise. AI makes tax assessment quicker and more efficient, and it reduces the risk of human error.

The use of AI applications in taxation is guided by the principles of tax assessment procedure, which are in turn based on the legislation on tax assessment and administrative procedures. (Detailed guidance available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish.)

The Finnish Tax Administration may use different AI solutions for different purposes. Whether the AI is allowed to make independent decisions or whether it just generates suggestions to tax officials is determined separately for each solution.

Our AI only uses reliable data

  • We know and understand how our AI solutions function. We have detailed knowledge on their operating principles.
  • We do not give AI access to data until we can be certain that the data is reliable and suitable for the purpose at hand. We will keep monitoring these aspects while the data is in use.
  • If the data or the algorithms are faulty or distorted, we will make the necessary corrections as fast as we can.

A human is always responsible for AI operations

  • The AI can be taught by a human, or the AI can learn by itself. A learning AI is always monitored by a human.
  • A tax official does not necessarily follow the AI-generated suggestions.
  • The AI is not allowed to make decisions unless the steps it takes in the decision process can be traced and justified afterwards.
  • We have named a party who is responsible for our AI operations. This party can be contacted in all AI-related matters.

Our AI follows laws and regulations

  • We constantly monitor and evaluate how AI is used, and we take immediate action in case of deviations.
  • The use of AI does not endanger the confidentiality of tax data or the taxpayers’ data security.
  • The use of AI does not endanger the legal protection of the taxpayer or the tax official responsible for the AI’s decision.
  • We select our partners carefully and responsibly. We take responsibility for the operations of the entire subcontracting chain.
  • We test and select our AI solutions in accordance with the same safety principles that are applied to all our other IT systems.

We take part in public discussion on responsible and ethical AI applications

  • We promote the adoption of ethically sustainable AI technologies and international procedures in Finland. We also influence changes in legislation.
  • We communicate openly about the tasks in which we utilise AI.
Page last updated 4/16/2019