The Office of Management and Budget has turned to the public to determine how to best position federal data so that it can be used for the development of artificial intelligence.

The agency put out a request for information July 10 calling on the public to help determine which federal datasets would be most helpful for AI research and development and how best to format those datasets.

“Depending on the R&D goal and application domain, different data sets and models may be needed to accelerate AI advances,” the RFI states.

“Additionally, the use of these data sets and models could stimulate new developments that would enhance the transparency and explainability of the AI application, and illuminate ways to ensure the robustness, security and safety of AI applications.”

The request asks the public to answer a series of 10 questions on what kinds of datasets are the most useful when made available to the public, which agencies have the most useful data, and how to improve the quality of federal data overall.

Respondents are allowed to provide answers outside the 10 questions if they feel that it would add to the understanding of how AI and government data interact.

The RFI is the latest in a larger Trump administration effort to promote the advancement of artificial intelligence in the United States. Trump signed an executive order in February 2019 prioritizing federal focus on AI and the White House launched a website dedicated to the technology in March.

Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent told attendees at a June 25 conference dedicated to AI that the government would be looking to leverage automation itself to free federal employees to do more high-value work.

Responses to the RFI are due Aug. 9 via

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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