Artificial Intelligence: The U.S. Lays Out $1B For New AI And Quantum Computing Institutes

August 28, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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The grants will be used to establish 12 new NSF-led AI Research Institutes and DOE QIS Research Centers over five years.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Department of Energy (DoE) are together the architects of a $1 billion plan to set up 12 multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional national hubs for research and workforce development relating to AI and quantum information science (QIS).  (Robotics and Automation News)

US leadership in critical, emerging technologies

“Today, the Trump Administration is making an unprecedented investment to strengthen American leadership in AI and quantum, and to ensure the Nation benefits from these emerging technologies,” said Michael Kratsios, US chief technology officer.

“Built upon the uniquely American free-market approach to technological advancement, these institutes will be world-class hubs for accelerating American innovation and building the 21st-century American workforce,” he added.

Unique public-private-academia partnership

“Through these institutes, the Federal government, private sector, and academia will come together to drive transformative AI and quantum breakthroughs,” said Chris Liddell, White House deputy chief of staff. “This is a significant achievement for the American people and the future of emerging technologies.”

Quantum technology

“The Department of Energy is proud to be in partnership with a significant breadth of participants to support Quantum Information Science Centers around the country, and by allocating generous contributions from these participants we can continue to further scientific discovery through quantum technologies,” said Paul Dabbar, under-secretary for science.

“Our nation continues to lead in the development of industries of the future, and these five centers will marshal the full strength of our National Laboratories, universities, and our public and private sector partnerships.”

NSF AI Institutes

The seven AI institutes envisaged by the NSF are the following:

Institute Partner Role
NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography University of Oklahoma, Norman Pressing concerns in weather, climate, and coastal hazards prediction.
NSF AI Institute for Foundations of Machine Learning  University of Texas, Austin Deep learning, neural architecture optimization, and efficient robust statistics
NSF AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming University of Colorado, Boulder AI that helps both students and teachers to work and learn together more effectively, and equitably
NSF AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy, and Manufacturing (or the NSF Molecule Maker Lab) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign New AI-enabled tools to accelerate automated chemical synthesis and advance the discovery and manufacture of novel materials and bioactive compounds.
NSF AI Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions Massachusetts Institute of Technology Develop AI methods that integrate the laws of physics as a guiding framework to advance our knowledge
USDA-NIFA AI Institute for Next Generation Food Systems University of California, Davis Molecular breeding to optimize traits for yield, crop quality, and pest/disease resistance; agricultural production, food processing and distribution, and nutrition.
USDA-NIFA AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Major agricultural challenges including labor shortages, efficiency and welfare in animal agriculture, environmental resilience of crops, and the need to safeguard soil health.

“These institutes will serve as nodes in a broader nationwide network that will pursue transformational advances in sectors of societal impact, from extreme weather preparedness to K-12 education,” the NSF said.

Related Story: UC Davis Awarded $20M Grant For Researching Next-Gen Food Systems

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