Task Force Proposes New Federal AI Research Outfit with $2.6B in Funding

The U.S. government has released the final report of the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) task force, which recommends a new, multibillion-dollar research organization to advance artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States. The document outlines a roadmap to bridge the access divide, enabling greater brainpower and diverse perspectives to benefit the field.

The NAIRR task force was created in 2020 by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and has since produced several smaller reports and a blueprint for an AI bill of rights. The executive summary of the final report states:

“To realize the positive and transformative potential of AI, it is imperative to harness all of America‚Äôs ingenuity to advance the field in a manner that addresses societal challenges, works for all Americans, and upholds our democratic values. Yet progress at the current frontiers of AI is often tied to access to large amounts of computational power and data. Such access today is too often limited to those in well-resourced organizations. This large and growing resource divide has the potential to limit and adversely skew our AI research ecosystem.”

The report proposes a new independent research organization to provide a “federated mix of computational and data resources, testbeds, software and testing tools, and user support services via an integrated portal.” This organization would be funded with approximately $2.25 billion over six years, and $60-70 million per year for operations. Additionally, the organization would integrate appropriate technical controls, policies, and governance mechanisms to address privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

The NAIRR report provides a roadmap for the U.S. to become a leader in AI research and development. It is the first step in a long process of democratizing access to AI resources and ensuring that the field is open to all individuals from all backgrounds.

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