AI for All: NSF Unveils Research Resource Pilot

NAIRR promises researchers and educators access to cutting-edge resources, fostering collaboration and driving the nation's AI capabilities to new heights.
AI for All: NSF Unveils Research Resource Pilot

In a noteworthy leap towards accessible AI innovation, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has unveiled the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot. This initiative, aptly titled "AI for All," aims to democratize the future of AI research and development.

In a significant move towards advancing artificial intelligence (AI) research and development, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and its partners officially launched a two-year pilot program called National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR). This pioneering initiative marks a crucial step in building a shared research infrastructure to democratize access to essential resources, propelling responsible AI discovery and innovation.

Launch of NAIRR: A Milestone in AI Research and Development

Collaborating with 10 federal agencies and 25 private sector, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations, the NAIRR pilot aims at providing U.S.-based researchers and educators with access to a comprehensive suite of resources. These include advanced computing capabilities, datasets, models, software, training, and user support. The ultimate goal is to empower researchers and educators, facilitating groundbreaking AI research and shaping the future of the full NAIRR ecosystem.

"The breadth of partners that have come together for this pilot underscores the urgency of developing a National AI Research Resource for the future of AI in America," stated NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. He emphasized that by investing in AI research through the NAIRR pilot, the United States can unleash unprecedented discovery and impact, bolstering global competitiveness. Panchanathan sees this initiative as essential to maintaining leadership in AI research and development.

The NAIRR pilot not only addresses the technological aspects of AI but also emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and nationwide opportunities. Panchanathan added, "To continue leading in AI research and development, we must create opportunities across the country to advance AI innovation and strengthen educational opportunities, empowering the nation to shape international standards and igniting economic growth. NSF is proud to lead this effort with our current and future partners."

Aligning with the Presidential Vision for Responsible AI

This initiative aligns with President Biden's vision for advancing responsible AI. Arati Prabhakar, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, highlighted the significance of the NAIRR pilot in achieving America's aspirations in AI. "The National AI Research Resource pilot will give researchers access to critical data and compute, catalyzing action to achieve America's great aspirations," she stated.

One notable aspect of the NAIRR pilot is its collaborative nature, bringing together academia, industry, nonprofit, and government sectors. The intention is to foster cross-sector partnerships that can lead to the development of commercially viable AI applications and solutions. This collaboration is expected to drive technological innovation and contribute to economic growth by creating new markets and revenue streams.

The NAIRR pilot's initial focus is on supporting AI research for the advancement of safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. Additionally, it aims to apply AI solutions to challenges in healthcare, environmental sustainability, and infrastructure. The pilot will also offer infrastructure support for educators, facilitating training on AI technologies and promoting responsible approaches in their application.

NAIRR Pilot: Focusing on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy AI

The program will focus on four key areas in the pilot operation:

NAIRR Open: This segment will facilitate open AI research by providing access to diverse AI resources through the NAIRR Pilot Portal and coordinated allocations.

NAIRR Secure: Co-led by NIH and DOE, this aspect will cater to AI research requiring privacy and security-preserving resources, assembling exemplar privacy-preserving resources

NAIRR Software: This area will oversee and explore the interoperable use of AI software, platforms, tools, and services for NAIRR pilot resources.

NAIRR Classroom: Focused on outreach and education, this component aims to reach new communities through training, user support, and educational initiatives.

The launch of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot marks a pivotal moment in the democratization of AI research and development. With a collaborative effort involving federal agencies, private sectors, and nonprofit organizations, NAIRR is set to provide unprecedented access to cutting-edge resources, fostering innovation and inclusivity. According to Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs at Meta, "Making sure researchers have open access to cutting-edge AI technology is crucial to ensuring AI is developed responsibly. Meta has pioneered open AI innovation for more than a decade, which is why we’re enthusiastic supporters of the NAIRR initiative."

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