#74 Tabassi on NIST, Technology Standards, and Trust

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The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.

During this episode, Elham Tabassi discusses the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s mission and various initiatives currently underway. After recapping the areas of focus for each of NIST’s major laboratories, Elham discusses fingerprint biometric identification technology, artificial intelligence standardization, and NIST’s newly released Request For Information soliciting public comment on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) policies and influence in the development of international standards for emerging technologies. In order to encourage diversity of opinion and inclusivity, public engagement is encouraged with any of NIST’s efforts. Like previous podcast guests, Elham agrees that trust is of utmost importance today, and this applies to nonpartisan technology standards development, as well.


Link to full show notes and resources


Guest Bio: Elham Tabassi is the Chief of Staff in the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (or NIST), whose mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. ITL conducts fundamental and applied research in computer science and engineering, mathematics, and statistics that cultivates trust in information technology and metrology by developing and disseminating standards, measurements, and testing for interoperability, security, usability, and reliability of information systems.

As a scientist, Elham has been working on various computer vision research projects with applications in biometrics evaluation and standards since 1999. For example, she is the principal architect of NIST Fingerprint Image Quality (NFIQ) which is now an international standard for measuring fingerprint image quality and has been deployed worldwide. In late 2020, Elham was recognized by the Washington Academy of Sciences for contributions and leadership in computer vision, fingerprint image analysis, facial recognition algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

She received the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2003, the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2007, and 2010, ANSI’s 2012 Next Generation Award, and the Women in Biometrics Award in 2016 for her contributions to biometrics. She is a member of the OSAC Friction Ridge subcommittee and co-chairs FIDO Biometrics Certification working group.

About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.

For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org.

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