On January 7, 2019, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a draft of a memorandum setting forth guidance to assist federal agencies in developing regulatory and non-regulatory approaches regarding artificial intelligence (AI). This draft guidance will be available for public comment for sixty days, after which it will be finalized and issued to federal agencies.
According to the draft, the guidance was developed with the intent to reduce barriers to innovation while also balancing privacy and security concerns and respect for IP. The proposed guidance features ten principles to guide regulatory approaches to AI applications. In addition, in what may be a boon for those in the private sector developing AI infrastructure, the OMB reinforces the objective of making federal data and models generally available to the private sector for non-federal use in developing AI systems.
Initial responses to the proposed guidance has been mixed, and it remains to be seen how the principles in the guidance (when finalized) will be put in practice. Notably, however, those who intend to invest significant resources in AI-based infrastructure should be aware of what may prove to be the emerging blueprint for AI regulation in the near future.