On October 21, members of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force met virtually for their tenth public meeting. As the penultimate convening of the Task Force before the submission of its final report to the President and Congress in December 2022, the meeting focused on refining details of the implementation plan related to the standup timeline, security requirements, data resources, and administrative home for the envisioned NAIRR.
Co-chaired by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, the Task Force has been working since June 2021 to develop a vision and implementation plan for the NAIRR – a national cyberinfrastructure that would democratize access to resources and tools that fuel Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D). Expansion of access would aim to broaden the range of researchers involved in AI, grow and diversify approaches to and applications of AI, and open opportunities to advance AI R&D across scientific fields and disciplines, including in critical areas such as AI auditing, testing and evaluation, bias mitigation, and security.
The first topic taken up by the Task Force related to the timeline for a phased establishment of the NAIRR. The Task Force discussed integrating an option of a pilot approach into the recommended timeline, with the aim to leverage existing resources, software stacks, and service providers to launch a pilot that would expedite making resources (albeit on a limited scale) available to the AI R&D community while the full NAIRR is coming online. Task Force members agreed on the merits of pursuing such a pilot option and highlighted the priority of supporting user-facing staff through the pilot, to ensure it is effectively serving the AI research community.