Academy49

Bridging the resource divide critical for AI research ecosystem

The National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force in its recent interim report, submitted to the President and Congress, while pointing out the growing resource divide vis-à-vis artificial intelligence (AI) R&D in the United States, has warned that this divide could skew the Nation’s AI research ecosystem.

According to the report the state-of-the-art AI resources and tools, including large amounts of computational power and data, are often unavailable and inaccessible to many researchers beyond those at large technology companies and well-resourced universities, which limit the possibility to explore the true potential of AI.

Among many other important preliminary recommendations, the NAIRR interim report has recommended concerted efforts and coordinated action to expand access to the necessary resources that fuel AI to unlock its full potential.

NAIRR task force background

The Biden administration had launched he NAIRR Task Force in June last year to provide recommendations for establishing and sustaining a National AI Research Resource ‘that would democratize access to AI R&D for America’s researchers and students.’

The NAIRR is envisioned as a shared research cyberinfrastructure connecting researchers to the necessary AI resources and tools for R&D in order to bridge the growing divide. The task force was mandated to submit two reports, first of which has been submitted, to present a comprehensive roadmap and implementation plan. The second and final report will be submitted in November 2022 in which the task force will develop a roadmap for achieving the vision defined in this interim report.

The way forward

While the interim report sets forth the task force’s vision for the NAIRR, it also provides

findings and recommendations on a variety of topics related to the efforts and actions required to build and strengthen the AI research ecosystem.

Among many others, the report recommends investment in several infrastructure elements including a technical infrastructure for a ‘robust, transparent, and responsible data ecosystem’ along with training programs and availability of best computing technologies–from hardware to software.

“The vision laid out in this interim report is the first step towards a more equitable future for AI R&D in America – a future where innovation can flourish and the promise of AI can be realized in a way that works for all Americans,” Lynne Parker, the task force’s co-chair and director of the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said.

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