American artificial intelligence (AI) leadership
NIST requests information on artificial intelligence (AI) technical standards, tools
N. Hanacek/NIST

American artificial intelligence (AI) leadership

Responses to a NIST Request for Information (RFI) will help develop common understanding of current state, plans, challenges, and opportunities in AI.

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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) is in response to the Feb. 11, 2019, Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence, directing 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.

“Sound technical standards, performance metrics, and tools are needed to foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies,” says Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan.

In developing the plan, NIST will engage 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.

“As AI continues to change the way we live and work, robust standards will help ensure understanding and validation of these rapidly evolving technologies,” Copan says.

The RFI focuses on three areas:

  • Status of, plans for AI technical standards, related tools development
  • Defining, achieving U.S. leadership in AI standards
  • Prioritizing federal government engagement in AI standardization

Topics for which information is requested include:

  • Existing standards and tools
  • Organizations currently addressing the need for standards
  • Where U.S. is effectively leading standards development
  • Unique needs of the federal government

Comments are due by 5 p.m. EDT on May 31, 2019, and may be submitted via email to ai_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.