On 11 April, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the US Department of Commerce, issued a request for comment (RFC) on the development of measures aimed at ensuring that products utilising artificial intelligence (AI) are “legal, effective, ethical, safe, and otherwise trustworthy” – a function generally referred to providing “AI assurance”. Comments are due on or before 10 June 2023.
Specifically, the RFC calls for stakeholders to submit comments on the current state of play, barriers, and opportunities to developing a productive AI accountability ecosystem, including “ways governmental and non-governmental actions might support and enforce AI accountability practices”. Questions focus on areas including AI accountability mechanisms, AI audits and impact assessments, and individual sectoral considerations, such as those for healthcare and employment.
While the RFC declines to specify particular technical tools or related processes, it derives definitions and principles of key concepts from both public and private sector-created guidelines, such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s AI Risk Management Framework, Microsoft’s Responsible AI Standard Reference Guide Version 2.0, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Recommendation of the Council on Artificial Intelligence.
The RFC was released amid a flurry of headline-grabbing AI tools released to the public over the past year, particularly generative AI services like the natural language generators ChatGPT and Bard and image creators DALL-E and Midjourney. In addition, the Biden Administration has faced increased pressure to formulate common standards and regulations for AI at the national level as individual state legislatures have already begun introducing their own AI legislation, potentially contributing to a fragmented regulatory landscape in the US for AI akin to that of data privacy. Already, AI-related bills ranging from establishing commissions to requiring companies to conduct impact assessments for each AI tool they develop have at least been introduced – if not passed – in states including Arizona, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.
Access Partnership has a strong track record of guiding companies and organisations of all sizes through drafting and submitting comments to US government agencies. For more information about this RFC or AI policy in general, please reach out to Dileep Srihari at firstname.lastname@example.org, Meghan Chilappa at email@example.com, or Jacob Hafey at firstname.lastname@example.org.