On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, over 20 organizations in the United States voiced their support in backing a proposal for a national artificial intelligence (AI) research cloud. The initiative aims to provide researchers across the country with access to computing power and data sets, notes Venture Beat.
Introduced earlier in June 2020, the program is titled the National AI Research Resource Task Force Act, which was spearheaded by Senators Rob Portman and Martin Heinrich. The act has since garnered the support of the bipartisan group in the House of Representatives.
According to The New York Times, the program comes as technology firms and educational institutions in the country rally towards persuading the American government to increase its funding and support for further studies within the artificial intelligence sector.
The New York Times states that the Trump administration has since pledged to double its spending on the said research focus, particularly as it would help the country boost its national security and adeptness in competing with other economies at large.
Based on its press release, the approval of the act would “convene a group of technical experts across academia, government, and industry to develop a detailed plan for how the U.S. can build, deploy, govern, and sustain a national AI research cloud.”
Among the organizations that have voiced support for the said program include tech giants such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, IBM, and NVIDIA.
The aforementioned tech giants join the ranks of educational institutions who also support the measure, such as Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and UCLA.
Besides lending their support and approval for the program, the organizations are reportedly willing to participate in the project, notes The New York Times.
Following the overwhelming show of support from the various organizations, the members of the House of Senate said, “The widespread support for the National AI Research Resource Task Force Act from our country’s preeminent research university and leading technology firms demonstrates how critical the legislation is for our country to retain our global lead in AI research.”
“We thank the universities and companies supporting our bill, and we call on Congress to act on this legislation as soon as possible,” said the members.
Though the program was introduced to the Senate earlier this month, Venture Beat reveals the idea of a national AI research cloud that was initially launched by Dr. Fei-Fei Li and John Etchemendy of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) in 2019.
According to Li and Etchemendy, the creation of a national cloud would be “one of the most strategic research investments the federal government has ever made.”