As part of its broader effort to manage risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI), the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a request for information (RFI) from the public to inform the development of AI risk management guidance. NIST is extending the deadline to respond to the RFI until September 15, 2021.
AI holds huge potential to benefit nearly all aspects of society, but the development and use of new AI-based technologies, products, and services has revealed technical and societal challenges and risks, as NIST reports. NIST is specifically seeking to understand how organizations and individuals involved with developing and using AI systems might be able to address the full scope of AI risk and how a framework for managing these risks might be constructed.
The RFI seeks input on topics, including:
Feedback will help inform a draft of an Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework (AI RMF), which will serve to answer a direction from Congress for NIST to develop the framework. The AI RMF is also NIST’s response to the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in AI.
NIST also plans to hold a workshop in September where attendees can help develop the outline for the draft AI RMF. Information on the workshop will be available on the NIST website when details are finalized.
“For AI to reach its full potential as a benefit to society, it must be a trustworthy technology,” said NIST’s Elham Tabassi, federal AI standards coordinator and a member of the National AI Research Resource Task Force. “While it may be impossible to eliminate the risks inherent in AI, we are developing this guidance framework through a consensus-driven, collaborative process that we hope will encourage its wide adoption, thereby minimizing these risks.”
“It is critical that we are mindful and equipped to manage the risks that AI technologies introduce along with their benefits,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves. “This AI Risk Management Framework will help designers, developers and users of AI take all of these factors into account — and thereby improve U.S. capabilities in a very competitive global AI market.”
Access more information via NIST.
NIST's effort follows its recent announcement requesting feedback on A Proposal for Identifying and Managing Bias in Artificial Intelligence (NIST Special Publication 1270), a document intended to examine and counter the effect of biases in artificial intelligence (AI) that can impact people’s lives and public trust in AI. That NIST document is open for public comment until the extended deadline of September 15, 2021.
ANSI Supports AI Efforts
ANSI continues efforts to support AI efforts and progress in AI standardization. Among other efforts, it’s 2021 report, "Standardization Empowering AI-Enabled Systems in Healthcare," reflects feedback from a 2020 ANSI leadership survey and national workshop, and identifies opportunities for standardization to support data, trust, transparency, governance frameworks, and risk management in this rapidly-growing area.