Problem statement: Standardisation of AI fairness rules and benchmarks is challenging because AI fairness and other ethical requirements depend on multiple factors such as context, use case, type of the AI system, and so on. In this paper, we elaborate that the AI system is prone to biases at every stage of its lifecycle, from inception to its usage, and that all stages require due attention for mitigating AI bias. We need a standardised approach to handle AI fairness at every stage. Gap analysis: While AI fairness is a hot research topic, a holistic strategy for AI fairness is generally missing. Most researchers focus only on a few facets of AI model-building. Peer review shows excessive focus on biases in the datasets, fairness metrics, and algorithmic bias. In the process, other aspects affecting AI fairness get ignored. The solution proposed: We propose a comprehensive approach in the form of a novel seven-layer model, inspired by the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model, to standardise AI fairness handling. Despite the differences in the various aspects, most AI systems have similar model-building stages. The proposed model splits the AI system lifecycle into seven abstraction layers, each corresponding to a well-defined AI model-building or usage stage. We also provide checklists for each layer and deliberate on potential sources of bias in each layer and their mitigation methodologies. This work will facilitate layer-wise standardisation of AI fairness rules and benchmarking parameters.
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