March 16, 2020

NAFCU to OMB: Facilitate and encourage AI innovation

securityIn response to the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) draft memorandum providing guidance for regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) applications, NAFCU's Andrew Morris noted that although "AI holds promise for credit unions and their members, sustained innovation will depend on regulators’ commitment to facilitate and encourage experimentation."

In the letter sent Friday, Morris, NAFCU's senior counsel for research and policy, highlighted that the memo, which was addressed to all federal agencies, could be received differently by independent regulatory agencies, including the NCUA.

"NAFCU believes the Memo is one the NCUA should consider, but fully expects (and encourages) the agency to chart its own path as it seeks to accommodate credit union innovation and utilization of new technologies," wrote Morris.

Morris also urged the OMB to "harmonize definitions and terminology so that financial regulators can better understand how the technology functions before considering specific initiatives or guidance," in light of the numerous financial applications in which AI could be used.

Additionally, Morris shared the association's support of efforts to reduce barriers to innovation, including OMB's recommendation that agencies should work to eliminate "outdated, unduly burdensome or ineffective regulation to promote AI-related innovation."

NAFCU has continuously advocated for a level playing field with tech companies entering the financial services market and has a white paper available outlining a path towards regulatory coordination between traditional financial institutions and fintech companies.