Want to Weigh In on the Government’s AI Standards? There’s Still Time.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology extended the submission period for proposals to help develop “reliable, robust and trustworthy” AI tools.

The Trump administration is giving the public more time to weigh in on a national framework that would guide the growth of artificial intelligence in the coming years.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Tuesday extended the deadline for submitting comments on technical standards the government should consider for advancing AI technology. Proposals were originally due May 31, but groups now have until June 10 to offer up their ideas.

NIST granted the extension to accommodate “multiple interested parties” who wanted extra time to draft their frameworks, according to a post in the Federal Register. The agency has received 35 comments so far and expects more to trickle in over the next few days, NIST spokeswoman Jennifer Huergo told Nextgov.

Under its executive order on advancing artificial intelligence, the Trump administration charged NIST with exploring technical standards the government could put in place to support “reliable, robust and trustworthy” AI tools. Ultimately, NIST plans to use the comments it receives to help the government ensure the tech is developed responsibly and maintain the country’s edge in the global race for AI dominance.

“The information we receive will be critical to federal engagement in the development of technical standards for AI and strengthening the public’s trust and confidence in the technology,” Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, said when the solicitation first went out.

Over the last decade, the government has largely permitted artificial intelligence to develop unobstructed by federal regulations or standards. While the tech advanced significantly under this hands-off approach, critics are now questioning AI’s impact on privacy and civil liberties, as well as the transparency and security of its underlying algorithms.

The NIST guidance would come as one of the government’s first and most significant steps toward placing guardrails on the tech. Per the executive order, NIST is expected to release a draft plan for federal AI standards around mid-August.