A National Framework for AI Procurement

Authors: Eva Zhang, Grant Gordon, Katie Jonsson


Summary 

As artificial intelligence (AI) applications for public use have proliferated, there has been a large uptick in challenges associated with AI safety and fairness. These challenges are due in part to poor transparency in and standardization of AI procurement protocols, particularly for public-use applications. In this memo, we propose a federal framework—orchestrated through the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) situated in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—to standardize and guide AI procurement in a safer, fairer manner. While this framework is designed for federal implementation, it is important to recognize that many decisions on AI usage are made by municipalities. The principles guiding the federal framework outlined herein are intended to also help guide development and implementation of similar frameworks for AI procurement at the local level.


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About the Authors

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Eva Zhang is a senior and AI researcher at Stanford pursuing a B.S in Mathematics and M.S in Computer Science. She previously designed, led, and co-taught a computer science class on interpretability and fairness at Stanford. She has spent time working on projects in tech. policy, research, and engineering at the Stanford Machine Learning Group, World Bank Group, Google, NASA, and the Compton Pledge.


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Grant Gordon is a Stanford student currently on leave at Sequoia, working to support Sequoia's founders on narrative, product and strategy. He also works to support student founders through BASES and Cardinal Ventures, a nonprofit start-up accelerator. Formerly, he worked for the Research Director of Rebuild by Design, and one of the competitions winners, ONE Urbanism + Architecture, designing Community Engagement strategies for climate infrastructure projects.


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Katie Jonsson is an undergraduate at Stanford University majoring in International Relations. She is interested in the intersection of innovation, technology and government. She has spent the past year as Chief of Staff at an early-stage defense start-up and working at the Stanford Internet Observatory.