National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee Established by Department of Commerce

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

[co-author: Christina Barone]

On September 8, 2021, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the establishment of the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advisory Committee (NAIAC or the “Committee”). The NAIAC will advise the President and the National AI Initiative Office (NAIIO) on various issues related to AI, including the National AI Initiative (the “Initiative”) and recommendations related to, but not limited to:

  • The current state of U.S. competitiveness and leadership in AI.
  • A review of the progress made in implementing the Initiative, including the degree to which the Initiative is achieving its defined goals and metrics.
  • Issues related to AI and the U.S. workforce.
  • How to leverage the Initiative’s resources to streamline and enhance operations in various areas of government, including health care, cybersecurity, infrastructure and disaster recovery.
  • Whether the Initiative adequately addresses ethical, legal, safety, security and other appropriate societal issues.
  • Opportunities for international cooperation with allies on AI research activities, standards development and the compatibility of international regulations.
  • How AI can enhance opportunities for diverse geographic regions of the U.S., including urban, Tribal and rural communities.

Additionally, the Committee’s chairperson will establish a subcommittee relating to the development of AI with respect to law enforcement matters, referred to as the Subcommittee on AI and Law Enforcement. The subcommittee will advise the President on issues related to bias, security of data, adoptability and legal standards.

As noted in a previous alert, former-President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 into law, which included the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 (the “Act”). The Act established the National AI Initiative, creating a coordinated program across the federal government to accelerate AI research and application to support economic prosperity, national security and advance AI leadership in the U.S.[1] The establishment of the NAIAC is the latest AI-focused proposal to take shape from the requirements in the NDAA, following the establishment of a National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) and associated task force. Previous coverage on the NAIRR can be found here.

The establishment of the NAIAC is the latest AI-focused proposal to take shape from the requirements in the NDAA, following the establishment of a National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) and associated task force. Previous coverage on the NAIRR can be found here.

The Committee will consist of at least nine appointed members with broad interdisciplinary expertise and involvement, including from academic institutions, companies across diverse sectors, nonprofit and civil society entities and federal laboratories. In selecting members of the NAIAC, the Secretary of Commerce will seek and consider recommendations from Congress, industry, nonprofit organizations, the scientific community, the defense and law enforcement communities and other appropriate organizations.

The Department of Commerce is accepting nominations for members to serve on the Committee, including the Subcommittee on AI and Law Enforcement. Applications should be submitted through the Federal Register by 5:00 p.m. EST on October 25, 2021.

1National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office, National Artificial Intelligence Initiative, available at https://www.ai.gov/.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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