Setting Emerging Techs Standards Dominates NISTs 2024 Goals

Setting Emerging Techs Standards Dominates NISTs 2024 Goals

Emerging technologies feature prominently in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's fiscal year 2024 budget proposal,

Director Lori Lacascio discussed her agency's budget plans before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Wednesday morning, covering a wide range of spending plans, including modernizing aging research facilities , increasing domestic manufacturing efforts, investing in cybersecurity education, and developing recommendations for new business. technologies. systems.

The agency's 2024 budget included $995 million in science and technology funding, including $68.7 million for new research programs. Emerging technologies that NIST plans to focus on over the next year include artificial intelligence systems, quantum technology, and biotechnology.

"It is very important to maintain a strong leadership position as these technologies are important drivers of economic growth," said Lacasio.

The head of the AI ​​focus area will develop standards and guidelines to further support the responsible development of the technology. Part of this will involve working with partner countries to promote a common set of technical standards that foster a common understanding of how AI systems should and shouldn't be used. This process is necessary to break down barriers in the international trade ecosystem.

"The budget will provide new resources to expand AI system benchmarking and evaluation capabilities to ensure the United States can lead innovation in AI while ensuring it responsibly manages the risks of this rapidly evolving technology."

Increasing public engagement is another pillar of NIST's strategy to help develop a roadmap for robust AI development. In 2024, Lacasio said, NIST aims to apply the provisions of the AI ​​Risk Management Framework to measure the risks associated with generative AI systems such as ChatGPT and establish a public task force to gather information on the generative AI-Industry to obtain. technologies.

Lacassio also spoke about the agency's plans for quantum information science. $220 million of the proposed FY2024 budget is dedicated to research specifically in quantum technology, with a focus on fundamental research in the measurement and development of post-quantum cryptography.

"We are conducting a number of different activities, but related to the development of a new cybersecurity and security framework for post-quantum cryptographic algorithms," he confirmed.

NIST also intends to work on developing similar standards for emerging biotechnologies. He highlighted gene editing as a major issue in biotechnology and discussed the private sector's continued engagement with NIST to lead the US biotech industry in the development of products, such as antibody-based therapies.

“Our goal is to make sure that when you edit the genome, you know what you've done… and… you know how to expect the result,” Lacasio said.

Important new technologies are starting to become a priority on the Biden administration's slate. Last week, the White House unveiled its first national standardization strategy, developed with help from NIST to extend its leadership in regulating the use of these technologies in local and global settings.

“We really are in a place where we need to be proactive about critical and emerging technologies, make sure we sit around the same table to encourage American innovation and our competitive technologies, and do so in the international forum for standardization and putting leadership there it also features locations there,” Lacasio said. "So NIST is really on the cutting edge."

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