National AI Advisory Committee establishes 5 working groups

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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The National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee established five working groups to focus its efforts during its inaugural meeting Wednesday.

Leadership in Trustworthy AI, Leadership in Research and Development, Supporting the U.S. Workforce and Providing Opportunity, U.S. Leadership in Competitiveness, and International Cooperation are the initial groups.

The Department of Commerce set up NAIAC in September to advise the president and federal agencies in accordance with the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, and 27 members were appointed in April.

“Leadership at commerce was very thoughtful to ensure that we have a broad cross section of geography, perspectives, backgrounds, experience so that we can model what we’re intending to do and show that multi-stakeholder approach to the development and deployment of AI,” said NAIAC Chair Miriam Vogel, who’s also CEO of EqualAI, during the meeting. “To make sure that we are able to do our work as effectively as possible, we are going to focus our efforts into, initially, these five different working groups.”

Members were assigned to two each based on their stated interests and expertises.

Victoria Espinel, CEO of BSA, will lead the Leadership in Trustworthy AI working group.

Ayanna Howard, dean of the Ohio State University College of Engineering, and Ashley Llorens, vice president of Microsoft Research, will co-lead the Leadership in Research and Development working group.

Trooper Sanders, CEO of Benefits Data Trust, will lead the Supporting the U.S. Workforce and Providing Opportunity working group.

Yll Bajraktari, CEO of the Special Competitive Studies Project, will lead the U.S. Leadership in Competitiveness working group create to counter China‘s strategy to become the global leader in AI by 2030. The working group will examine how federal agencies are organized for the competition and ensure the National AI Initiative Office has the personnel and other resources it needs to coordinate them.

“We will look at how we can ensure better coordination among federal agencies so we stay ahead in all the elements of the AI competition,” Bajraktari said.

Zoë Baird, CEO of the Markle Foundation, will lead the International Cooperation working group that will help shape the commercialization environment for AI technologies with an emphasis on standards, citizen protections and economic inclusion.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who spoke at the first meeting, stressed the incorporation of two Biden administration initiatives, in particular, into NAIAC’s work: the US-EU Trade and Technology Council and the Indo-Pacific Economic Dialogue, both with technology standards-setting components.

Raimando wants to integrate NAIAC’s policy suggestions into both initiatives to ensure any international technology standards established align with U.S. values, given increased Chinese influence in the space.

“I am so worried about China overtaking tech standard-setting bodies,” Raimando said. “So we have to stand up with the Europeans, with our like-minded allies.”

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artificial intelligence (AI), China, Department of Commerce (DOC), Gina Raimondo, Miriam Vogel, National AI Advisory Committee (NAIAC), National AI Initiative Office, Yll Bajraktari
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