Search Icon White
trust AI

A Matter of Trust: NIST Proposes Evaluation Model for User Trust in Artificial Intelligence


Submit Comments to NIST by July 30

As society continues to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into everyday life through business, healthcare, driverless cars, commercial flights, and more, how can humans instill trust in AI systems? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a new document undertaking this issue in Artificial Intelligence and User Trust (NISTIR 8332), intended to examine how humans experience trust as they use or are affected by AI systems. The document, envisioned to complement active work on AI system trustworthiness, is open for public comment until July 30, 2021.

NIST's authors identify nine characteristics that define AI system trustworthiness: accuracy, reliability, resiliency, objectivity, security, explainability, safety, accountability, and privacy. "If the AI system has a high level of technical trustworthiness, and the values of the trustworthiness characteristics are perceived to be good enough for the context of use, and especially the risk inherent in that context, then the likelihood of AI user trust increases. It is this trust, based on user perceptions, that will be necessary of any human-AI collaboration," the document asserts.

According to NIST co-author Brian Stanton, the issue is whether human trust in AI systems is measurable — and if so, how to measure it accurately and appropriately.

“Many factors get incorporated into our decisions about trust,” he said. “It’s how the user thinks and feels about the system and perceives the risks involved in using it.”

He explained that NIST's proposed model for AI user trust is based on others’ research and the "fundamental principles of cognition." NIST is seeking feedback about work the scientific community might pursue to provide experimental validation of these ideas.

Access NIST's news announcement for more information and find out how to submit comments.

In ANSI's recent efforts to support AI, a 2021 ANSI report, "Standardization Empowering AI-Enabled Systems in Healthcare," reflects feedback from a 2020 ANSI leadership survey and national workshop, and pinpoints foundational principles and potential next steps for ANSI to work with standards developing organizations, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, other government agencies, industry, and other affected stakeholders.

See related news:

ANSI Releases Report: Standardization Empowering AI-Enabled Systems in Healthcare


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]