Mason selected for participation in Department of Commerce consortium dedicated to AI safety


Mason will be one of more than 200 leading AI stakeholders to help advance the development and deployment of safe, trustworthy AI under new U.S. government safety institute.

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George Mason University has joined more than 200 of the nation’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) stakeholders to participate in a Department of Commerce initiative to support the development and deployment of trustworthy and safe AI. Established by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) will bring together AI creators and users, academics, government and industry researchers, and civil society organizations to meet this mission.

Mason will bring its expertise in AI and leadership in emerging technologies to the initiative. “Mason researchers look to solve complex problems that demand creativity, transdisciplinarity, and a sustained passion for digital innovation for good. We look forward to working with the consortium to achieve these goals,” said Amarda Shehu, associate vice president of research in Mason’s Institute for Digital Innovation. Mason is the only Virginia university in the consortium.

Through the establishment of the AISIC, NIST aims to help equip and empower others in collaboratively establishing a new measurement science that will enable the identification of proven, scalable, and interoperable measurements and methodologies to promote development of trustworthy AI and its responsible use.

“The U.S. government has a significant role to play in setting the standards and developing the tools we need to mitigate the risks and harness the immense potential of AI,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “President Biden directed us to pull every lever to accomplish two key goals: set safety standards and protect our innovation ecosystem. That’s precisely what the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium is set up to help us do.”

The consortium includes more than 200 member companies and organizations on the frontlines of developing and using AI systems, as well as the civil society and academic teams that are building the foundational understanding of how AI can and will transform our society. These entities represent the nation’s largest companies and its innovative startups; creators of the world’s most advanced AI systems and hardware; key members of civil society and the academic community; and representatives of professions with deep engagement in AI’s use today. The consortium also includes state and local governments, as well as nonprofits. The consortium will also work with organizations from like-minded nations that have a key role to play in setting interoperable and effective safety around the world.

The full list of consortium participants is available on the NIST website.