‘The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Commerce Department agency focused on developing and testing technologies, announced the launch of NIST GenAI, a new program designed to assess generative AI, a rapidly growing field of artificial intelligence concerned with creating new content like text, images, and even videos.

This initiative responds to generative AI’s increasing influence and potential challenges. NIST GenAI aims to address these challenges by establishing a platform for evaluating these models and fostering the development of tools to identify AI-generated content in press releases.

A key function of NIST GenAI will be the creation of benchmarks, essentially standardized tests, to measure the capabilities and limitations of generative AI technologies. These benchmarks will be used to assess factors like the realism, coherence, and bias of AI-generated content.

Another crucial aspect of NIST GenAI is the development of “content authenticity” detection systems. These systems aim to identify content created by AI algorithms, similar to how deepfake detection tools work for identifying manipulated videos. This will help combat the spread of misinformation and ensure transparency around the origin of online content.

NIST GenAI’s launch aligns with President Biden’s executive order on AI, which emphasizes responsible development and use of the technology. Increased transparency regarding AI-generated content is a key tenet of this order, and NIST GenAI’s efforts directly contribute to achieving this goal.

The program is also noteworthy in light of the recent appointment of Paul Christiano, a former OpenAI researcher specializing in AI safety, to NIST’s AI Safety Institute. NIST GenAI’s focus on responsible AI development suggests a potential collaboration between Christiano’s expertise and the institute’s resources.

Overall, NIST GenAI represents a significant step towards ensuring the responsible use of generative AI. By establishing benchmarks, fostering detection tools, and potentially collaborating with leading AI safety researchers, NIST GenAI aims to promote information integrity and guide the ethical development of this powerful technology.