Commerce Department Announces New NIST-Driven Initiatives to Support Safe and Trustworthy AI Development

MAY 7TH, 2024

In response to President Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the U.S. Department of Commerce has announced several new initiatives. These initiatives are driven by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and include four new draft publications, a plan for international standardization, and a public comment opportunity.

NIST’s New Documents Offer Guidance for AI Development

NIST has released four documents to help guide AI development and governance:

AI Risk Management Framework: Generative AI Profile

This document helps organizations manage the risks associated with generative AI (GAI) systems, including chatbots and media-generating tools. NIST notes that some GAI risks are unknown, making them challenging to scope or evaluate due to the uncertainty regarding GAI scale, complexity, and capabilities.

The Framework lists risks that organizations must consider, including chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons, data privacy, information integrity, and information security. It also offers 400 actionable steps for risk mitigation, such as cybersecurity threats, ransomware, and harmful content generation.

Secure Software Development Practices for Generative AI and Dual-Use Foundation Models

This publication expands upon NIST’s Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF), addressing security concerns related to AI training data, such as potential data poisoning, bias, and tampering.

Reducing Risks Posed by Synthetic Content

This document addresses digital content transparency by focusing on managing risks related to AI-generated or altered content. It proposes methods for detecting and labeling synthetic media, including digital watermarking and metadata recording.

Global Engagement on AI Standards Plan

The goal of this plan is to foster the development of international standards for AI, noting that it “calls for a coordinated effort to work with key international allies and partners and 6 with standards developing organizations to drive the development and implementation of AI-related 7 consensus standards, cooperation and coordination, and information sharing.”

USPTO’s Request for Public Comment

The USPTO has issued a Request for Public Comment (RFC) regarding how AI influences patentability assessments. This includes considerations on what constitutes prior art and how AI might affect an invention’s novelty and skill level evaluations. This feedback will guide future USPTO policies on AI-assisted inventions.

NIST’s GenAI Evaluation Program

NIST GenAI, a new evaluation program administered by the NIST Information Technology Laboratory, has been designed to assess generative AI technologies developed by the research community worldwide. This umbrella program supports various evaluations for research in Generative AI by providing a platform for Testing and Evaluation. These evaluations will inform the work of the U.S. AI Safety Institute at NIST.

The objectives of the NIST GenAI Program include:

Evolving benchmark dataset creation (benchmark datasets are collections of data used to test and compare the performance of different AI algorithms or models)

Facilitate the development of content authenticity detection technologies for different modalities (text, audio, image, video, code)

• Conducting a comparative analysis using relevant metrics

Promoting the development of technologies for identifying the source of fake or misleading information

Advancing Safe and Responsible AI

The Commerce Department is committed to advancing safe and responsible AI development. These documents reflect the department’s efforts to lead innovation and ethics in AI while managing associated risks by providing regulatory guidance frameworks.

Arcserve applauds these efforts and is committed to addressing the evolving risks to your data from AI, ransomware, and other threats.

For expert guidance and advice regarding your data protection efforts, choose an Arcserve Technology Partner.

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