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At the end of March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued its long-awaited AI Accountability Policy Report (Report), which provides federal policy recommendations regarding accountability for artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The Report calls on federal policymakers to look for regulatory approaches – not just voluntary approaches – to improve AI accountability. The Report also provides important signals about what types of requirements and expectations companies who develop and deploy AI systems may be facing in the near future, including disclosures and audits. Indeed, we have already seen efforts at the federal and state level to put these kinds of requirements into law.  

Specifically, the Report explains that “[t]o justify public trust in, and reduce potential harms from, AI systems, it will be important to develop ‘accountability inputs’ including better information about AI systems as well as independent evaluations of their performance, limitations, and governance.” The Report envisions government’s role in this accountability chain as “encouraging, supporting, and/or compelling these inputs,” and along those lines, divides its policy recommendations into three categories: Guidance, Support, and Regulations. Below, we provide a high level summary of each of the recommendations.

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