NIST Developing Artificial Intelligence Standards Plan

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is looking for insight into the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) to help it develop standards to support a robust American AI industry. AI is expected to power a wide number of unmanned technology applications, especially those involving data analysis.

The request is being made in response to an executive order issued by the White House February 11, 2019 directing steps be taken to help the U.S. keep its leading role in the development and application of AI technology

“Continued American leadership in AI is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States, and to shaping the global evolution of AI in a manner consistent with our nation’s values, policies, and priorities,” the executive order said.

NIST is to craft a plan focused on federal government engagement in the development of technical standards and tools “in support of reliable, robust, and trustworthy systems that use AI technologies.” The effort is part of a coordinated federal strategy, the American AI Initiative, framed around five principals:

(a) The United States must drive technological breakthroughs in AI across the federal government, industry, and academia in order to promote scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security.

(b) The United States must drive development of appropriate technical standards and reduce barriers to the safe testing and deployment of AI technologies in order to enable the creation of new AI-related industries and the adoption of AI by today’s industries.

(c) The United States must train current and future generations of American workers with the skills to develop and apply AI technologies to prepare them for today’s economy and jobs of the future.

(d) The United States must foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies and protect civil liberties, privacy, and American values in their application in order to fully realize the potential of AI technologies for the American people.

(e) The United States must promote an international environment that supports American AI research and innovation and opens markets for American AI industries, while protecting our technological advantage in AI and protecting our critical AI technologies from acquisition by strategic competitors and adversarial nations.

NIST is looking for information on the current state of AI as well as plans, challenges, and opportunities regarding the development and availability of AI technical standards and related tools. NIST is also asking for insight into priority areas for federal involvement in AI standards-related activities. As it works on the plan, NIST expects to reach out to other federal agencies, the private sector, academia, non-governmental entities and other stakeholders with interest in and expertise in AI.

More information can be found under docket number 2019-08818on the Federal Register and the Executive Order can be found here. All comments must bereceivedby May 31. Online submissions in electronic form may be sent to comments may be submitted by mail to AI-Standards, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2000, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.

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