USC Viterbi Announces Participation in Department of Commerce Consortium Dedicated to AI Safety

USC Viterbi Staff | February 22, 2024

USC will be one of approximately 30 universities helping to advance the development and deployment of safe, trustworthy AI under a new U.S. Government Safety Institute

Hexagon shapes with house different symbols including a home, a family, a plane surrounding an umbrella intending to communicate an umbrella to communicate AI safety

AI safety

USC has joined approximately 30 of country’s universities to participate in a Department of Commerce initiative to support the development and deployment of trustworthy and safe AI. Established by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) will bring together AI creators and users, academics, government and industry researchers, and civil society organizations to meet this mission.

USC, which ranks third in the nation in federal funding for computing and information sciences has been a leader in AI for decades through its Information Sciences Institute established over 50 years ago, the Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Creative Technologies. Recently, USC launched the Frontiers of Computing, a billion-dollar initiative to advance computing research in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science with ethics at its core—including a Center for Generative AI. Since 2016, through the Center for AI in Society, USC has taken an active role to ensure that AI is applied to address social problems. Furthermore, the Center for Engineering in Society, an undergraduate program at the Viterbi School has made ethics a core part of the school’s undergraduate curriculum.

Yolanda Gil, the Director of New Initiatives in AI and Data Science, Research Professor of Computer Science and Spatial Sciences and Principal Scientist at USC Information Sciences Institute, will lead USC’s participation in this NIST initiative.
Gil remarked, “The University of Southern California is proud to be a founding member of AISIC. We are happy to have contributed to the NIST AI Risk Management Framework, which represents a broad community effort that provides a solid foundation for AISIC. We look forward to participating with our broad expertise in AI, including AI ethics, natural language processingWe are excited to work with the AISIC community in joining efforts to address the most immediate challenges in AI Safety and to tackle longer-term questions in this area.”

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said, “The U.S. government has a significant role to play in setting the standards and developing the tools we need to mitigate the risks and harness the immense potential of artificial intelligence. President Biden directed us to pull every lever to accomplish two key goals: set safety standards and protect our innovation ecosystem. That’s precisely what the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium is set up to help us do,” said Secretary Raimondo. “Through President Biden’s landmark Executive Order, we will ensure America is at the front of the pack – and by working with this group of leaders from industry, civil society, and academia, together we can confront these challenges to develop the measurements and standards we need to maintain America’s competitive edge and develop AI responsibly.”

The consortium includes more than 200 member companies and organizations that are on the frontlines of developing and using AI systems, as well as the civil society and academic teams that are building the foundational understanding of how AI can and will transform our society. These entities represent the nation’s largest companies and its innovative startups; creators of the world’s most advanced AI systems and hardware; key members of civil society and the academic community; and representatives of professions with deep engagement in AI’s use today. The consortium also includes state and local governments, as well as non-profits. The consortium will also work with organizations from like-minded nations that have a key role to play in setting interoperable and effective safety around the world.

To learn more about USC’s participation in U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), please visit:

The full list of consortium participants is available here.


Published on February 22nd, 2024

Last updated on February 29th, 2024

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