Department of Commerce Creates AI Advisory Committee
Thursday, September 09, 2021 | Comments

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department of Commerce established a high-level committee to advise the president and other federal agencies on a range of issues related to artificial intelligence (AI).

Working with the National AI Initiative Office (NAIIO) in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the department is now seeking to recruit top-level candidates to serve on the committee.

A formal notice describing the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC) and the call for nominations for the committee and its Subcommittee on Artificial Intelligence and Law Enforcement was published in the Federal Register.

“AI presents an enormous opportunity to tackle the biggest issues of our time, strengthen our technological competitiveness, and be an engine for growth in nearly every sector of the economy,” said Raimondo. “But we must be thoughtful, creative and wise in how we address the challenges that accompany these new technologies. That includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that President Biden’s comprehensive commitment to advancing equity and racial justice extends to our development and use of AI technology. This committee will help the federal government to do that by providing insights into a full range of issues raised by AI.”

The National AI Initiative Act of 2020 calls for the secretary of commerce, in consultation with the OTSP director and other department officials, the secretary of defense, the secretary of energy, the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the director of national intelligence, to establish the NAIAC.

The committee is to provide recommendations on topics including the current state of U.S. AI competitiveness; progress in implementing the initiative; the state of science around AI; issues related to AI workforce, including barriers to employment supporting opportunities for historically underrepresented populations; how to leverage initiative resources; the need to update the initiative; the balance of activities and funding across the initiative; the adequacy of the National AI R&D Strategic Plan; management, coordination and activities of the initiative; adequacy of addressing societal issues; opportunities for international cooperation; issues related to accountability and legal rights; and how AI can enhance opportunities for diverse geographic regions.

“We have seen major advances in the design, development and use of AI, especially in the past several years,” said Eric Lander, White House science advisor and OSTP director. “We must be sure that these advances are matched by similar progress in ensuring that AI is trustworthy, and that it ensures fairness and protections for civil rights. I look forward to working with and learning from this committee.”

The NAIAC will consist of expert leaders from a broad and interdisciplinary range of AI-relevant disciplines from across academia, industry, non profits and civil society, and federal laboratories. These experts will be qualified to provide advice and information on science and technology research, development, ethics, standards, education, fairness, civil rights implications, technology transfer, commercial application, security and economic competitiveness related to AI.

With AI already changing how society addresses economic competitiveness, national security challenges and equitable opportunities, the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) and its researchers are dedicated to ensuring AI technologies are developed and used in a trustworthy and responsible manner that allows for accuracy, security, explainability and interpretability, reliability, privacy, safety and the mitigation of bias. Trustworthy data, standards, and integration of machine learning and AI in applications are critical for the successful deployment of new technologies and the identification and mitigation of sources of algorithmic bias.

Nominations for the committee and subcommittee on AI and law enforcement will be accepted on an ongoing basis and will be considered as vacancies arise. NIST will provide administrative support to the committee.

Find the notice here.

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