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White House, Executive Order 13859: Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence (Feb. 11, 2019) (full-text).


The Executive Order states that "[c]ontinued American leadership in AI is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States and to shaping the global evolution of AI in a manner consistent with our Nation's values, policies, and priorities." Accordingly, Section 1 of the Executive Order calls for a coordinated Federal Government strategy, the American AI Initiative, and notes that the U.S. must drive development of appropriate AI technical standards in order to enable the creation of new AI-related industries and the adoption of AI by today's industries. This can be achieved through the work and partnership of industry, academia, and government.

Section 1(d) of the Executive Order states that the U.S. must foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies and protect civil liberties, privacy, and American values in their application in order to fully realize the potential of AI technologies for the American people.

Section 2(d) of the Executive Order directs Federal agencies to ensure that technical standards minimize vulnerability to attacks from malicious actors and reflect Federal priorities for innovation, public trust, and public confidence, and to develop international standards to promote and protect those priorities.

Section 6(d) of the Executive Order directs the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Director of NIST, to issue a Plan for Federal engagement in the development of technical standards and related tools in support of reliable, robust, and trustworthy systems that use AI technologies. It further directs NIST to lead the development of the Plan with participation from relevant agencies, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce.

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External resources[]

  • NIST, "NIST and the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence," 84 Fed. Reg. 18490-92 (Feb. 14, 2019) (full-text).
  • Request for Information, "Artificial Intelligence Standards" (May 1, 2019) (full-text).