Governance of Artificial Intelligence in Water and Wastewater Management: The Case Study of Japan

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The integration of artificial intelligence into various aspects of daily life is developing at a rapid pace in Japan. Discussions to govern applications of artificial intelligence to the field of social infrastructure are also critical and need to match the rapid pace of development. However, the legal implications and risks of applying artificial intelligence to the management of lifelines such as drinking water supply and wastewater treatment have not yet been fully explored. This paper reviews the existing legislations and ongoing discussions on governance regarding applications of artificial intelligence to water and wastewater management. Based on the review, we discuss the ability of legislative frameworks in Japan to respond to the applications of artificial intelligence, as well as identifying potential gaps and challenges thereof, including access to accurate data, demarcation of rights and responsibilities, risk hedging and risk management, monitoring and evaluation, and handling of intellectual property rights. This paper concludes with key recommendations to national and local governments to support the application of artificial intelligence in the field of water and wastewater.


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