The federal government is taking what could be the first steps toward requiring safer, more transparent AI systems as a Commerce Department agency invited public comment to help shape specific policy recommendations. From a report:

The move is far short of the comprehensive AI legislation critics have advocated. But with the frenzy over generative AI continuing to grow, the Biden administration is trying to get a head start on a government response to the fast-moving industry. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is asking the public to weigh in on what role the federal government can play to ensure AI algorithms are acting as claimed and not causing harm.

“We really believe in the promise of AI,” Assistant Commerce Secretary Alan Davidson, who runs NTIA, tells Axios. “We do believe it needs to be implanted safely and we’re concerned that’s not happening right now.” Davidson said that the government could take a range of actions to shape AI that don’t require new legislation — including mandating audits as part of its procurement standards or offering prizes or bounties to those who find bias within algorithms. “We need to start the hard work of actually putting in place processes that are going to make people feel like the (AI) tools are doing what they say they are going to do, that models are behaving,” Davidson said.