Congressional Leaders Seek Clarity and Commitment in NIST AI Safety Research Funding

A bipartisan group of Congressional leaders has reached out to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeking clarity and commitment on the funding processes and research quality of the newly established Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute (AISI). The group, led by House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) sent a letter to the NIST Director to address concerns.

Given the nascent and complex nature of AI safety research, the letter highlights the issues currently plaguing the field, including self-referential findings, lack of rigorous critique, and a general disagreement over scope, taxonomies, and definitions. These challenges underscore the need for AISI’s leadership and NIST’s guidance to be grounded in robust research practices.

To address these concerns and ensure a path forward that aligns with the highest standards of scientific integrity, Congressional leaders are requesting a comprehensive briefing from NIST. This marks a bipartisan commitment to move forward in a groundbreaking field with careful attention to ethical questions and the broader impact on society.


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