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Industry pushes for AI executive order comment delay

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Industry players, citing the complexity of AI issues, are asking the government to push back a deadline for providing feedback on an executive order meant to tackle the technology.

What's happening: In a letter obtained by Axios, the groups say they want an extension of at least 60 days on the Feb. 2 deadline to comment on the National Institute of Standards and Technology's assignments under the executive order.

  • The letter will be sent Tuesday to NIST director Laurie Locascio.
  • The Chamber of Commerce, the Information Technology Industry Council, Business Roundtable, TechNet, the Security Industry Association and the Software and Information Industry Association signed the letter, among others.

Why it matters: NIST is at the heart of tech regulation, and making sure officials there get it right is key to ensuring that the government's approach to regulating artificial intelligence is effective.

  • But any delays to the timeline laid out in the EO could set back U.S. efforts to take action on AI.

What they're saying: "We appreciate the opportunity to work with NIST to provide detailed feedback on these complex issues, but doing so with the level of specificity that these important questions require will necessitate extending the comment period to allow for more thoughtful and substantive feedback," the letter states.

The executive order requires NIST to develop:

  • An AI Risk Management Framework companion for generative AI
  • Guidelines for AI red teaming
  • Guidance and benchmarks for evaluating and auditing AI capabilities
  • A report on identifying and labeling AI synthetic content  
  • A plan for global engagement on promoting and developing AI standards
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