US Commerce Department launches public working group on generative AI

The working group’s primary objective is to establish a comprehensive framework that promotes the responsible development and deployment of generative AI.

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The US Commerce Department has announced its plans to create a public working group that focuses specifically on generative AI. The main objective of this working group is to address the potential benefits and risks associated with generative AI and develop guidelines to effectively manage those risks. To achieve this, the group will draw upon the Risk Management Framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which provides a solid foundation for handling the risks arising from the rapid advancement of generative AI.

NIST will take the lead in guiding the working group and is actively seeking the support of volunteer experts to help address the risks posed by generative AI. The working group will operate transparently in a public capacity and will comprise representatives from various sectors, including industry, academia, and government.

Debate on the regulatory agency for AI, what do industry leaders and policymakers say?

In recent months, an ongoing debate has unfolded among tech giants and policymakers regarding the appropriate regulatory agency for AI. While there is unanimous agreement on the importance of regulation, opinions diverge when it comes to determining the appropriate overseeing body for AI. The disagreement revolves around whether the responsibility should be assigned to one or more existing ones. While some industry advocates express scepticism about entrusting the regulation of AI to a single agency, as they believe it could impede innovation, suggesting that different sectors that use AI should have different rules. Conversely, others disagree with this perspective and advocate for assigning oversight and regulation to a single agency.

Furthermore, there is a divergence of opinion regarding the need for establishing a new agency or relying on existing agencies to regulate this matter. Microsoft and similar companies are actively advocating for the creation of a new agency specifically dedicated to overseeing the development of AI at the federal level. They contend that a new agency is essential in effectively addressing the unique challenges posed by AI.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been suggested as one agency to regulate AI, with proponents arguing that it is well-equipped to regulate AI effectively. However, others argue that it lacks the authority to enforce the rules and would require additional power provided through Congress to succeed.