USA outlines plan for federal engagement in AI standardisation

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a Plan for federal engagement in developing artificial intelligence technical standards and related tools. According to NIST, ‘US global leadership in AI depends upon the federal government playing an active and purpose-driven role in AI standards development’. As such, the institute recommends that the US government ‘commits to deeper, consistent, long-term engagement in AI standards development activities to help the US to speed the pace of reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI technology development’. For this to happen, the government is encouraged to bolster AI standards-related knowledge, leadership, and coordination among federal agencies. It should also promote research activities dedicated to advancing a broader understanding of how trustworthiness can be incorporated within standards. Moreover, the government needs to support and expand public-private partnerships to develop and use AI standards to advance reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI. Concerning international AI standards development activities, the US is encouraged to strategically engage with international parties to advance AI standards for US economic and national security needs. Lastly, the plan notes that federal agencies should focus on AI standards efforts that are consensus-based, inclusive and accessible, multi-path, open and transparent, and that result in globally relevant and non-discriminatory standards.