NIST has released a plan for prioritizing federal agency engagement in the development of standards for artificial intelligence (AI) per the February 2019 Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership on Artificial Intelligence (EO 13859). The plan recommends the federal government “commit to deeper, consistent, long-term engagement in AI standards development activities to help the United States to speed the pace of reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI technology development.”
It calls for federal agencies to 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.
NIST will participate in developing AI standards, along with the private sector and academia, that address societal and ethical issues, governance, and privacy policies and principles. These AI standards-related efforts include:
While the AI community has agreed that these issues must factor into AI standards, many decisions still need to be made about whether there is yet enough scientific and technical basis to develop those standards provisions.
The U.S. Leadership in AI: A Plan for Federal Engagement in Developing Technical Standards and Related Tools report released on August 9, 2019, was prepared with broad public and private sector input. The plan identifies nine areas of focus for AI standards:
Through these focus areas, the Federal government will commit to deeper, consistent, long-term engagement in AI standards development activities to help the United States to speed the pace of reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI technology development. Specifically, the government will:
NIST will play an active role in advancing the AI standards strategies. NIST’s Information Technology Laboratory has recently established an Associate Director for IT Standardization position, which will help administer many of NIST’s future AI standards activities and development.