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CHIPS Articles: NIST Requests Information on Artificial Intelligence Technical Standards and Tools

NIST Requests Information on Artificial Intelligence Technical Standards and Tools
By NIST News - May 1, 2019
GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking information about technical standards and related tools for artificial intelligence (AI). The Request for Information (RFI), published today in the Federal Register, is in response to the Feb. 11, 2019, Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.

The executive order directs NIST to create a plan for federal engagement in the development of these standards and tools in support of reliable, robust and trustworthy systems that use AI technologies.

“This information can help us develop a plan to support continued American leadership in AI, which is crucial to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “Sound technical standards are needed to foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies and can help protect civil liberties, privacy and American values.”

To develop the plan, NIST will work with other federal agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders with an interest and expertise in AI and related standards.

Responses to the RFI will help develop a common understanding of the current state, plans, challenges and opportunities regarding the development and availability of AI technical standards and related tools, as well as federal agencies’ standards-related priorities.

“NIST has a long history of cultivating trust in technology by participating in the development of standards and metrics that strengthen measurement science and make technology more secure, usable, interoperable and reliable,” said Copan. “As AI changes the way we live and work, timely and sound technical standards for AI will help ensure public trust in these rapidly evolving technologies.”

The RFI focuses on three areas: the status of and plans for AI technical standards and related tools development, defining and achieving U.S. leadership in AI standards, and prioritizing federal government engagement in AI standardization. Topics for which information is requested include existing standards and tools, the organizations currently addressing the need for standards, where the U.S. is effectively leading standards development, and the unique needs of the federal government.

Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern time on May 31, 2019, and may be submitted via email toai_standards@nist.gov, or by mail to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2000, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Comments will be made publicly available without redaction.

To further promote discussions in support of a federal plan for engagement in AI technical standards development, NIST will host a workshop on May 30, 2019, at its Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus.

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