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### NSF Director and AI Experts Share Progress Report on AI Entrepreneurship

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is taking swift action to meet the requirements set forth by …

To comply with President Biden’s recent executive order on artificial intelligence (AI), the National Science Foundation (NSF) is taking swift action. This involves the establishment of four new National AI Research Institutes and the initiation of a pilot program for implementing the NAIRR.

At a press roundtable, NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan highlighted that while the organization has been investing in AI systems for a significant period, the recent executive order has accelerated their development efforts.

Panchanathan emphasized that the current state of AI is the result of several years of NSF’s investments. Over the past three years alone, NSF has launched 25 AI Institutes, each valued at $20 million, totaling half a billion dollars.

Out of the 25 National AI Research Institutes nationwide, 15 receive support from NSF, with the remaining 10 backed by alliances, as per the director.

The strategic approach moving forward involves collaboration. NSF not only leverages its own resources but also engages with potential partners to drive progress, according to Panchanathan, who highlighted the organization’s strength in facilitating such partnerships.

NSF’s AI Research Institutes focus on areas such as trustworthy AI, as well as AI applications in fields like science, education, and agriculture. Alongside the existing 25 AI Institutes, there are plans for NSF to establish four additional AI schools, as indicated by Michael Littman, the division director for information and intelligent systems at NSF.

Littman mentioned that the new institutes encompass disciplines like astronomy, material science, and broader IT enhancement. The aim is to expand the understanding of AI research’s societal impact through real-world applications.

Furthermore, the AI Entrepreneurship directive mandates NSF to kickstart the NAIRR pilot program within 90 days. This initiative aims to provide the AI research community with shared national facilities for accessing datasets, processing capabilities, models, and educational resources.

Katie Antypas, chair of NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, emphasized the program’s goal of enhancing access to resources to accelerate AI innovation while upholding the nation’s values.

Antypas revealed that NSF plans to roll out the pilot program by the week of January 21, 2024, despite an estimated budget of $2.6 billion for NAIRR. The objective of the pilot is to demonstrate the value of the NAIRR concept to the AI research community and engage with partners to refine the initiative.

She noted that the initial phase will be modest, leveraging existing resources, current authority, and contributions from technology firms. Antypas expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming launch, citing the collaborative efforts spurred by the executive order as a driving force for accelerated progress.

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Last modified: February 12, 2024
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