New NIST Draft Plan Seeks to Establish AI Standards

“Those standards will serve as the foundation for future AI development…”

New NIST Draft Plan Seeks to Establish AI Standards

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is asking the public to weigh in on a new draft plan intended to promote the development of industry standards for Artificial Intelligence. The document was released as part of the American AI Initiative, which seeks to keep the US at the forefront of the AI industry.

“AI is already transforming many aspects of our lives and has the potential to do much more,” said NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “We want to make the most of this technology, while ensuring safety, privacy and security.”

The draft plan – which can be found here – has four primary recommendations, arguing that the US government should advance AI research efforts, coordinate between federal agencies, encourage private-public partnerships, and liaise with international parties. It also calls for the creation of standards for safety, data, trustworthiness, and other AI criteria. Those standards will serve as the foundation for future AI development, establishing a common language that allows for more interoperability and sets a baseline level of trust and performance.

The draft as a whole can be seen as an early attempt to do for AI what the NIST’s Face Recognition Vendor Test does for facial biometrics, which is to say that it pushes a uniform set of criteria acknowledged by tech companies around the world. Major players like IDEMIA and Vision-Box regularly tout their strong performances on the FRVT test, making it likely that the NIST is hoping to become a similar authority for AI.