NIST Publishes Plan For AI Technical Standards

August 12, 2019

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published a plan for federal involvement in developing AI technical standards. The NIST report states that it "is important for those participating in AI standards development to be aware of, and to act consistently with, U.S. government policies and principles, including those that address societal and ethical issues, governance, and privacy." NIST recommends the government (1) bolster AI standards expertise in federal agencies, (2) support public and private sector engagement in crafting AI standards, (3) translate requirements for trustworthy AI into practical standards, and (4) strategically engage around the world. NIST also calls for research into benchmarking "the reliability, robustness, and trustworthiness of AI systems" and "improve AI evaluations and methods for verification and validation," as well as the incorporation of ethical considerations and "human-centered" values. EPIC filed comments on the NIST plan, urging the U.S. to adopt the OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence and the Universal Guidelines for AI. Both frameworks require rights-protective AI, verified as robust and reliable throughout its lifecycle.

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