Readout of the Ninth National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force Meeting
The NAIRR Task Force continued its deliberations on an implementation roadmap, including approaches to security and access controls, resource allocation, evaluation, and environmental sustainability
On September 12, the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force convened virtually for its ninth public meeting to consider the final elements in the development of an implementation plan for a national cyberinfrastructure that would enhance U.S. competitiveness in a critical emerging technology. The NAIRR would democratize access to the resources and tools that fuel AI research and development (R&D), advancing equity in the AI research environment and sparking innovation, job creation, and economic growth.
NAIRR Task Force co-chair, Manish Parashar, Office Director of the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation, opened the meeting by welcoming the newly appointed White House Office of Science and Technology Policy NAIRR Task Force co-chair, Tess deBlanc-Knowles, Senior Policy Advisor in the National AI Initiative Office. Ms. deBlanc-Knowles steps into this role following the departure of Lynne Parker, former Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Director of the National AI Initiative Office.
The early sessions of the meeting engaged Task Force members in deliberation around two central aspects of the implementation plan for the NAIRR: access and security controls, and resource allocation and evaluation. The Task Force members agreed on the importance of establishing a resource allocation process that could accommodate researchers with and without existing Federal funding, as well as researchers or students requesting access for a range of research projects, from small, exploratory efforts to larger, resource-intensive activities.
The Task Force also took up issues associated with the establishment and sustainment of the NAIRR, discussing how to (i) ensure environmental sustainability, (ii) enhance international cooperation, and (iii) establish the requisite legal authorities and frameworks to achieve the NAIRR’s mandate. The Task Force noted that putting in place criteria for NAIRR computing resource providers related to energy efficiency could promote sustainability, particularly if paired with investments in AI research that could advance environmental research.
Several representatives of related Federal initiatives focused on providing computational and data resources to the research community joined the Task Force for a panel discussion aimed at identifying how the NAIRR implementation plan could be designed to complement and reinforce these initiatives as part of a holistic Federal ecosystem. The discussion illuminated the complementarity across various initiatives, the shared priorities to serve America’s research community, and the imperative to maintain collaboration as each initiative moves from design to implementation.
The Task Force closed the meeting by revisiting a set of prior topics to ensure consensus among the members. Specifically, the Task Force discussed how the NAIRR would approach hosting data, its governance structure, the set of capabilities that would be available when it is launched, and the intended capacity the NAIRR would provide to users on “day one” and beyond.
The Task Force will hold its tenth public meeting on October 21, 2022. Details on how to participate in the meeting will soon be available at AI.gov/nairrtf, along with materials from this and prior meetings.
External Speakers at the September 12th meeting included:
- Vipin Arora, Deputy Director, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation
- Erwin Gianchandani, Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation, and Partnership, National Science Foundation
- Shelly Martinez, Senior Statistician, Office of Management and Budget
- Kamie Roberts, Director, National Coordination Office for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program
- Jerry Sheehan, Deputy Director for Policy and External Affairs, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health