Wichita State joins national consortium dedicated to AI safety

Wichita State University is joining more than 200 of the nation’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) stakeholders to participate in a Department of Commerce initiative to support the development and deployment of trustworthy and safe AI.

Established by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) brings together AI creators and users, academics, government and industry researchers, and civil society organizations to meet this mission.

“This is a pivotal moment for global efforts to mitigate risks from AI systems, and the NIST AI Safety Institute Consortium is poised to play an invaluable role in both U.S. and global efforts,” said WSU President Rick Muma. “We look forward to contributing to the consortium and assisting NIST as we work toward safe and responsible AI development.” 

“The U.S. government has a significant role to play in setting the standards and developing the tools we need to mitigate the risks and harness the immense potential of artificial intelligence,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Through President Biden’s landmark Executive Order, we will ensure America is at the front of the pack – and by working with this group of leaders from industry, civil society and academia, together we can confront these challenges to develop the measurements and standards we need to maintain America’s competitive edge and develop AI responsibly.”

Wichita State representatives for the consortium include Pierre Harter, associate vice president of research operations for Industry and Defense Programs; and Ross Gruetzemacher, assistant professor in business analytics at the Barton School of Business.

“Wichita State applauds NIST’s quick and decisive response to the wide range of critical duties it was tasked with by EO 14110,” Harter said. “We are confident that NIST’s AI Safety Institute will embrace this necessary leadership role, solidifying the U.S. as the global leader in both development and governance efforts for safe and beneficial AI.”

“There is tremendous potential for AI to benefit business and society, from digital assistants and productivity enhancement software, to driving new scientific progress and powering the next generation of healthcare technology,” said Gruetzemacher. “Yet, these benefits also come with risks to society. The U.S. AI Safety Institute has been tasked with the critical challenge of mitigating these risks while ensuring that the nation’s incredible innovation ecosystem continues to drive global innovation in AI. We are excited for WSU to be part of the Consortium and to work with others from around the globe to contribute to this effort."

AISIC includes more than 200 member companies and organizations on the frontlines of developing and using AI systems, as well as the civil society and academic teams that are building the foundational understanding of how AI can and will transform our society. These entities represent the nation’s largest companies and its innovative startups; creators of the world’s most advanced AI systems and hardware; key members of civil society and the academic community; and representatives of professions with deep engagement in AI’s use today.

The consortium also includes state and local governments, as well as non-profits. It will also work with organizations from like-minded nations that have a key role to play in setting interoperable and effective safety around the world.

See a full list of consortium participants

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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