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NIST Announces Plan for Federal Engagement in Artificial Intelligence


On August 9, 2019, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released “U.S. Leadership in AI: A Plan for Federal Engagement in Developing Technical Standards and Related Tools” (the Plan) in response to Executive Order 13859 (EO), as reported on here. In accordance with the EO, the Plan outlines the following priorities for federal engagement: (1) ensure technical standards minimize vulnerability to attacks from malicious actors; (2) reflect federal priorities for innovation, public trust, and public confidence in systems that use artificial intelligence (AI) technologies; and (3) develop international standards to promote and protect those priorities. With emphasis from both public and private sector, NIST calls for flexible AI standards in regulatory and procurement actions, as well as the prioritization of multidisciplinary research and expansive public-private partnerships. Based on the Plan, companies are likely to see an increased number of opportunities to participate and assist the Federal Government in the standard development process, while simultaneously being put on notice that standards in this burgeoning industry may be forthcoming.

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