“Democratizing” access to AI research is the goal of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource.
As part of President Joe Biden’s executive order on artificial intelligence, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and ten other agencies are collaborating with artificial intelligence companies to start a pilot initiative that would, according to the administration, democratize access to research.
According to a statement from the NSF, US-based AI researchers may access AI models, processing capacity, datasets, software, and training via the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR). Via its website, researchers may apply to participate in the NAIRR trial. In the spring of this year, NAIRR intends to launch a second request for study projects. If allowed access, researchers may utilize pricey, high-processing-power services like Amazon Bedrock or Microsoft Azure that they would often have to purchase for out of research funds.
In addition to the NSF, the following government organizations are involved in NAIRR: the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the US Patent and Trademark Office. Amazon Web Services, Anthropic, AMD, EleutherAI, Google, Hugging Face, IBM, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, OpenAI, and Palantir are among the fifteen private sector partners with which the government is collaborating.
Microsoft and Nvidia each listed their own contributions to NAIRR. Microsoft announced that it has donated $20 million in Azure credits, resources to improve AI fairness, accuracy, and privacy, and access to models in the Azure OpenAI Service. Nvidia promised to make its AI Enterprise and DGX Cloud tools accessible.
NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan stated in the statement, “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.”
In order to maintain the US as the world’s preeminent center for AI innovation, Biden’s AI executive order mandated federal entities to establish NAIRR. While the US continues to dominate investment and research into generative AI because to businesses like Google and OpenAI located in the nation, other areas are upping their attention on the technology. The top five nations investing in AI development, according to the Harvard Business Review, are China, the UK, Japan, and Germany.
In the lack of clear restrictions, major IT corporations have cooperated with the government on artificial intelligence. The Biden White House obtained voluntary, nonbinding commitments to build AI systems responsibly from businesses like Meta, Google, and OpenAI before the AI executive order was made public. With the introduction of NAIRR, the threat of regulatory capture remains, nevertheless, given the tight cooperation between the government and the big internet companies.
The first four areas of emphasis for the NAIRR pilot are: supporting and establishing interoperability amongst AI platforms; providing access to a variety of AI resources; enabling security and privacy-required AI research; and teaching and training communities in the use of AI tools. NAIRR’s initial projects focus on applying AI to environmental sustainability and healthcare, according to a statement from the NSF.