Lawmakers introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill on Friday that would create a Federal AI research infrastructure to give researchers and students access to the data and tools needed to create trustworthy AI.

The Creating Resources for Every American To Experiment with Artificial Intelligence Act of 2023 (CREATE AI Act) would establish the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) – a cloud computing resource – to help democratize the development and use of AI.

Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Don Beyer, D-Va., and Jay Obernolte, R-Calif., introduced the House legislation, and Sens. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Todd Young, R-Ind., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D., introduced the Senate legislation.

“AI offers incredible possibilities for our country, but access to the high-powered computational tools needed to conduct AI research is limited to only a few large technology companies,” Rep. Ashoo said in a press release. “By establishing the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR), my bipartisan CREATE AI Act provides researchers from universities, nonprofits, and government with the powerful tools necessary to develop cutting-edge AI systems that are safe, ethical, transparent, and inclusive.”

Under the bill, the National Science Foundation (NSF) would oversee the NAIRR through a program management office. However, an independent non-governmental entity would oversee the day-to-day operations of the NAIRR, including the procurement of computational and data resources needed to do AI research.

According to the press release, the NAIRR will offer computational resources, datasets, educational tools, and AI testbeds to researchers, educators, and students at higher education institutions, non-profits, and federally funded agencies.

“The United States cannot cede leadership in AI development, and we must harness the great potential the technology offers in order to reap its benefits and combat any potential risks,” said Sen. Young. “The CREATE AI Act will help us do that by establishing the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) to democratize AI safety research and serve as a testbed for the development and implementation of innovative AI practices.”

“The National AI Research Resource will ensure American leadership in responsible AI development by broadening access for researchers in academia and nonprofit organizations to have an active role in shaping the future of AI,” added Dr. Fei-Fei Li, founding co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI). “I applaud Rep. Anna Eshoo and her colleagues for this crucially needed investment in AI.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.