As AI risk grows, Anthropic calls for NIST funding boost: ‘This is the year to be ambitious’

AI research company Anthropic is calling for $15 million in funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support its AI measurement and standards efforts. The call-to-action memo published by the company describes the funding increase as “one of the best ways to carry out its work promoting safe technological innovation.” The proposal follows a recent budget hearing about Department of Commerce funding, which attracted bipartisan support for maintaining American leadership in critical technologies. Anthropic co-founder Jack Clark stated that this is the year for ambitious funding proposals because most policymakers have now recognised the importance of AI, adding that if NIST is better funded, “we’ll get more solid work on measurement and evaluation in a place which naturally brings government, academia and industry together.” The request marked a more proactive approach to AI risks than other recent proposals, including calls for legislative proposals for an AI “regulatory regime”. Clark said most policymakers’ questions centred on the US ranking of AI systems compared to China and understanding fairness in the context of generative AI text systems.

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