International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2018 Number 07

Addressing ethics in autonomous and intelligent systems: IEC launches an open community jointly with eight other founding organizations

New global forum aims to foster cooperation in the development and use of ethically mindful standards in ICT, in particular for autonomous and intelligent systems


Geneva, Switzerland, 2018-07-27 Ethical issues around autonomous and intelligent systems are surfacing across a wide variety of industries and need to be addressed in an open and transparent manner. IEC today jointly launched and became a founding member of the Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (OCEANIS). This global forum brings together organizations interested in the development and use of standards as a means to address ethical matters in autonomous and intelligent systems.


Machine readable passports

Standards can help reassure end users and can play an important role in alleviating concerns regarding ethics. There is a real need and opportunity for broad collaboration between all relevant national and international organizations to develop locally and globally applicable solutions that support technical, business and policy decisions.

“The IEC is aware of its crucial role in building consumer trust and supporting public and private decision making. We have a responsibility to humanity and our planet to be mindful of finite resources and shield all living beings from harm. Not everything that can be accomplished with technology should be undertaken. We are happy to be a founding partner of OCEANIS; I believe it will be an important forum for providing insights on ethical matters and positively influence technology advancement,” said IEC General Secretary & CEO Frans Vreeswijk.

OCEANIS participants consent to:

• Share information and coordinate on respective initiatives and programs

• Enhance understanding of the role of standards in facilitating innovation, and address problems that extend beyond technical solutions to addressing ethics and values

• Jointly organize events at local/regional/global level

• Identify opportunities for concerted activities that strengthen the development and use of standards in addressing technical, societal and ethical implications arising from technology advancement.

The OCEANIS community is open to all interested organizations.

In addition to the IEC, Founding Members include the:

• Austrian Electrotechnical Association (OVE)

• Austrian Standard international (ASI)

• British Standards Institute (BSI)

• China Electronic Standardization Institute (CESI)

• Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE)

• International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

• National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)

• Servicio Ecuatoriano de Normalization (INEN)

• Verband und Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik (VDE/DKE)

The OCEANIS community is open and not-for-profit. If your organization is interested in participating in OCEANIS, please contact us at

About IEC

The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems. It brings together 171 countries; 85 are Members (National Committees) and 86 are Affiliates, developing countries that benefit from IEC work without the burden of membership.

Together they represent more than 99% of the world population and world electricity generation. More than 20 000 experts cooperate on the global IEC platform and many more in each member country.

They ensure that products work everywhere safely and efficiently with each other. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and during energy generation conform to them.

IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, Smart Grid & Smart Cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.


Find out more

Media contact:

Gabriela Ehrlich
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Mob: +41 79 600 56 72
Email: Gabriela Ehrlich
Skype: gabriela.ehrlich


News release 2018-07

pdf file 45 kB (English)