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Federal Agencies Team Up to Tackle AI Democratization

The U.S. National Science Foundation and other collaborating federal agencies are launching a national pilot to research, and ultimately bolster investment in, the area of artificial intelligence.

Screenshot of launched National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot portal.
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) launched the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot today.

This pilot’s creation is part of the work related to AI outlined in Executive Order 14110 that President Joe Biden signed last October. That order directed the NSF to launch a pilot of this nature within 90 days.

The agency is partnering with 10 other federal agencies and 25 organizations from the private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to create a shared research infrastructure to strengthen and democratize access to resources that support AI innovation.

“The National AI Research Resource pilot will give researchers access to critical data and compute, catalyzing action to achieve America's great aspirations," said Arati Prabhakar, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, in the announcement.

Specifically, the NAIRR pilot will provide access to U.S.-based researchers and educators in the way of advanced computing, data sets, models, software, training and support. The pilot will act as a proof of concept and a catalyst for further investment and evolution of NAIRR.

The pilot’s operations will focus on four areas.

First, NAIRR Open will provide access to diverse AI resources through the NAIRR Pilot Portal. Second, NAIRR Secure, which will be co-led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will enable AI research with privacy requirements, compiling privacy-preserving resources. Third, NAIRR Software will enable interoperable use of AI platforms and software. Fourth, NAIRR Classroom will reach new communities with education, training and outreach.

U.S. government partners, in addition to NSF, include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NIH; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Defense; DOE; the Department of Veterans Affairs; and the Patent and Trademark Office.

Partners from other sectors include Google, IBM, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OpenAI and others.

Researchers interested in access to NAIRR pilot resources can apply through the NAIRR pilot portal.

In spring 2024, a call for proposals from the research community will be released to engage more researchers with access to the full suite of NAIRR pilot resources.