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NIST Releases Plan for Federal Engagement to Develop Technical Standards and Tools in AI


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a plan for prioritizing federal agency engagement in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) standards. U.S. Leadership in AI: A Plan for Federal Engagement in Developing Technical Standards and Related Tools was prepared in response to the Executive Order: Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.

To help inform the plan, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) submitted a coordinated response to NIST on behalf of its members, providing comment on the current state, plans, challenges, and opportunities related to artificial intelligence (AI) technical standards.

NIST's plan acknowledges the importance of technical standards and their development, and references the contributions and activities of the international standardization committee on AI - International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology, Subcommittee (SC) 42. Launched in 2017, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 is a first-of-its-kind standardization committee looking at the full AI IT ecosystem. [See the related article, From Innovation to Ethics, Standards Empower AI Progress in 2018].

Furthermore, based on stakeholder input from NIST's request for information and the NIST AI Standards Workshop, the plan offers a snapshot of the present state of AI-relevant standardization, including those published by ANSI members.

It outlines four federal government engagement recommendations:

- Bolster AI standards-related knowledge, leadership, and coordination among Federal agencies to maximize effectiveness and efficiency

- Promote focused research to advance and accelerate broader exploration and understanding of how aspects of trustworthiness can be practically incorporated within standards

- Support and expand public-private partnerships to develop and use AI standards and related tools to advance reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI

- Strategically engage internationally to advance AI standards for U.S. economic and national security needs

Read the plan, with additional details on the recommendations: U.S. Leadership in AI: A Plan for Federal Engagement in Developing Technical Standards and Related Tools


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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