The Department of Commerce (DOC) established the National AI Advisory Committee (NAIAC), which will serve as a high-level committee advising President Biden and other Federal agencies on AI-related issues.

The committee established by DOC will work with the National AI Initiative Office (NAIIO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) housed in the White House. It is meant to provide recommendations on topics that include:

  • The current state of U.S. AI competitiveness;
  • Progress in implementing the Initiative;
  • The state of science around AI;
  • Issues related to AI workforce;
  • How to leverage initiative resources;
  • The need to update the initiative;
  • The balance of activities and funding across the initiative;
  • The adequacy of the National AI R&D Strategic Plan;
  • Management, coordination, and activities of the initiative;
  • Adequacy of addressing societal issues;
  • Opportunities for international cooperation;
  • Issues related to accountability and legal rights; and
  • How AI can enhance opportunities for diverse geographic regions.

“AI presents an enormous opportunity to tackle the biggest issues of our time, strengthen our technological competitiveness, and be an engine for growth in nearly every sector of the economy,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in a statement. “But we must be thoughtful, creative, and wise in how we address the challenges that accompany these new technologies.”

“That includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that President Biden’s comprehensive commitment to advancing equity and racial justice extends to our development and use of AI technology. This committee will help the Federal government to do that by providing insights into a full range of issues raised by AI,” she added.

The NAIAC is being established in accordance with the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, which calls for the Commerce Secretary to work with the Director of OSTP and other department officials, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Director of National Intelligence to establish the committee.

“We have seen major advances in the design, development, and use of AI, especially in the past several years,” said White House Science Advisor and OSTP Director Eric Lander. “We must be sure that these advances are matched by similar progress in ensuring that AI is trustworthy and that it ensures fairness and protections for civil rights. I look forward to working with and learning from this committee.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.