The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a plan for prioritizing federal agency engagement in the development of standards for artificial intelligence (AI). The plan recommends that the federal government “commit to deeper, consistent, long-term engagement” in activities to help the United States speed the pace of reliable, robust and trustworthy AI technology development.
“The federal government can help the U.S. maintain its leadership in AI by working closely with our experts in industry and academia, investing in research, and engaging with the international standards community,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “This plan provides a path to ensure the federal government supports AI standards that are flexible and inclusive—and suited for a world of rapidly changing technologies and applications.”
The plan recommends the federal government bolster AI standards-related knowledge, leadership and coordination among agencies that develop or use AI; promote focused research on the trustworthiness of AI systems; support and expand public-private partnerships; and engage with international parties.
Due to the rapid pace of technology development and changing understandings of the “trustworthiness, accessibility, and human-centered implications of AI,” the plan emphasizes the need for federal agencies to be flexible in selecting AI standards for use in regulatory or procurement actions. It also calls for prioritizing multidisciplinary research and expanding public-private partnerships to advance reliable, robust and trustworthy AI. The plan also highlights related tools that will be needed to support AI, including benchmarks, evaluations and challenges that could drive creative problem solving.
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