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Gonzalez pushes for U.S. leadership on Artificial Intelligence

Washington, December 13, 2019

U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) alongside Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX), Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Darren Soto (D-FL) are requesting the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) develop a framework on strategies, guidelines and best practices for artificial intelligence that will bolster innovation and ethical practices in developing and implementing artificial intelligence across the United States.

“As other countries ramp-up their own efforts to lead the world in AI, we firmly believe that the United States must remain the leader in AI technology and innovation. In order to ensure this, there must be greater leadership and engagement from our federal government. We strongly believe developing a voluntary framework for societal and ethical issues like bias and discrimination will enable our country to achieve our strategic goals and assist other countries to follow our country’s lead on AI standards and best practices,” states a letter sent by the representatives to NIST.

“Developing a framework around the use of artificial intelligence is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership on the international stage,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “Artificial intelligence has the potential to be a defining technology for future generations across the globe, and a failure to lead now could leave the door open for other countries to play a bigger role in defining the use and implementation of that technology.”

While artificial intelligence has the potential to enhance and transform American economic competitiveness, national security and society, stakeholders around the globe are currently grappling with how to address potential negative societal impacts, including bias and discrimination. As other countries ramp-up their own efforts to lead the world in AI, it is critical that the U.S. play a leading role in setting international standards on the use of this technology. NIST’s previous success in working alongside the federal government and private industry to develop clear guidelines on technology and innovation makes them the perfect candidate to develop this framework and set the stage globally for the future use of artificial intelligence technologies.

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional AI Caucus, I know firsthand the critical need for collaboration between government officials, key stakeholders and developers of artificial intelligence as what was once an emerging technology becomes increasingly woven into our everyday lives. Encouraging the National Institute of Standards & Technology to work toward a comprehensive voluntary framework regarding use of AI will ensure we get it right from the get-go, laying the groundwork for smooth incorporation of AI innovations that will streamline American leadership within the AI field,” said Congressman Pete Olson.

“As a member of the Congressional AI Caucus, I strongly support NIST’s interest in collaborating with the federal government on AI development. The US has been a leader in innovation for decades, and AI is a new frontier. With programs already integrated into the lives of millions of Americans, branching into realms like home security, measuring these new technologies’ trustworthiness and establishing best practices needs to remain a priority. NIST is the right place to start these collaborative conversations and I hope to continue to work with them on developing AI guidelines,” said Congresswoman DelBene.

“We must go forth boldly and ethically in developing the future of AI here in the United States. NIST is well-situated to lead this critical effort as we forge a fair and inclusive 21st Century tech economy,” said Congressman Sotto.

“As the immense benefits of AI come into sharper focus, so too do the potential risks. Maximizing the benefits of AI requires a risk management approach, similar to what exists for privacy and security issues, that extends throughout an AI system’s lifecycle. We agree with Representatives Gonzalez, Olson, Soto, and DelBene that NIST is well positioned to bolster the public’s trust and confidence in AI by convening a multistakeholder process to develop a framework for managing the most pressing risks. We look forward to working with NIST on this important project,” said Christian Tronscoso, Director of Policy at The Software Alliance.

“Artificial intelligence is transformational and can revolutionize the way we live and work, whether it’s used to defend against cyberattacks, deliver optimal health care solutions, assist persons with disabilities, or train workers, among other uses. TechNet supports this bipartisan call for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a voluntary framework on AI societal and ethical standards that allows the U.S. to be the global AI leader and set standards for other nations to follow,” said Alex Burgos, Vice President at TechNet.

“We applaud Representatives Anthony Gonzalez, Suzan Delbene, Pete Olson, and Darren Soto for their leadership to encourage the advancement of trustworthy AI,” said Tim Day, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC). “The business community recognizes that the National Institute of Standards & Technology can play a critical role in shepherding the development of voluntary standards to enhance U.S. economic competitiveness and ensure continued U.S. leadership in AI.”

“U.S. leadership in innovation depends on government and industry working together to create standards-based frameworks for cutting-edge technologies,” said Jason Oxman, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). “As a convener and partner to industry on issues like Artificial Intelligence, NIST’s efforts are essential to the ongoing success of such public-private collaboration. ITI appreciates Members of Congress’ recognition of NIST’s commitment to bringing together government and industry leaders to support an open, voluntary, and consensus-based process for international standards development.”

Read the full letter here.

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