The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has issued a practical guide[1] for AI design, development and deployment by organizations, as well as for policy formulation by governments in the region. The guide focuses on “traditional AI technologies” that exclude generative AI.

ASEAN comprises the following 10 member states, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Lao PDR
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

The guide lays down seven guiding principles, namely:

  1. Transparency and explainability
  2. Fairness and equity
  3. Security and safety
  4. Robustness and reliability
  5. Human-centricity
  6. Privacy and data governance
  7. Accountability and integrity

It sets forth key components to an AI governance framework, covering the following areas:

  • Internal governance structures and measures
  • Determining the level of human involvement in AI-augmented decision-making
  • Operations management
  • Stakeholder interaction and communication

The guide offers both national-level recommendations for its 10 member states, as well as ASEAN regional-level recommendations. An AI risk impact assessment template is also included, which was adapted from Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission’s framework.[2] 

Finally, there is a compendium of use cases of private and public organizations in different sectors that have implemented AI governance measures in their design, development and/or deployment of AI.


The guide is a user-friendly tool for both businesses and governments operating in ASEAN that are looking to demonstrate ethical governance and practice in the development, deployment and policymaking of AI, respectively. Regulatory guidance in lieu of regulation for a vastly diverse region where many markets are still at a relatively nascent stage of digital maturity strikes a healthy balance between addressing risks posed in unfettered AI use, while promoting responsible innovation.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate, neither its authors nor Squire Patton Boggs accepts responsibility for any errors or omissions. The content of this article is for general information only, and is not intended to constitute or be relied upon as legal advice.