July 28, 2023

Young, Heinrich, Booker, Rounds Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Access to Artificial Intelligence Research

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced the Creating Resources for Every American To Experiment with Artificial Intelligence Act of 2023 (CREATE AI Act). This bipartisan legislation establishes the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) as a shared national research infrastructure that provides AI researchers and students with greater access to the complex resources, data, and tools needed to develop safe and trustworthy artificial intelligence. 

“Artificial intelligence is already integrated into nearly every facet of our lives. Recent major leaps in innovation provide great promise, but also have caused some to highlight potential risks to society. 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. 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,” said Senator Young. 

“We know that AI will be enormously consequential. If we develop and deploy this technology responsibly, it can help us augment our human creativity and make major scientific advances, while also preparing American workers for the jobs of the future. If we don't, it could threaten our national security, intellectual property, and civil rights," said Senator Heinrich. “The bipartisan CREATE AI Act will help us weigh these challenges and unleash American innovation by making the tools to conduct important research on this cutting-edge technology available to the best and brightest minds in our country. It will also help us prepare the future AI workforce, not just for Silicon Valley companies, but for the many industry sectors that will be transformed by AI. By truly democratizing and expanding access to AI systems, we can maintain our nation’s competitive lead while ensuring these rapid advancements are a benefit to our society and country — not a threat.”

"Artificial intelligence has the potential to impact a range of fields, from national security to health care,” said Senator Rounds. “Our bipartisan legislation establishes the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR), which will provide tools and resources for universities and researchers across the country. Universities in South Dakota are already conducting research and applying AI and other emerging technologies. This legislation will allow these universities to expand their leading role.”

“We have enormous scientific and technical talent distributed across the United States – academics and innovators who can help us solve some of society’s most pressing problems using artificial intelligence responsibly,” said Senator Booker. “However, the high costs of data and infrastructure are a barrier for many seeking to contribute to AI research and development. The NAIRR will expand access and allow us to tap into our country’s strengths to drive progress in AI that serves the public good and protect against negative outcomes.”

The CREATE AI Act establishes the NAIRR, which has four primary goals: 

  • Spur innovation and advance the development of safe, reliable, and trustworthy AI research and development. 
  • Improve access to AI resources for researchers and students, including groups typically underrepresented in STEM. 
  • Improve capacity for AI research in the United States. 
  • Support the testing, benchmarking, and evaluation of AI systems developed and deployed in the United States. 

The NAIRR will offer the following to researchers, educators, and students at higher education institutions, non-profits, and federally funded agencies: 

  • Computational resources, including an open-source software environment and a programming interface providing structured access to AI models. 
  • Data, including curated datasets of user interest and an AI data commons. 
  • Educational tools and services, including educational materials, technical training, and user support. 
  • AI testbeds, including a catalog of open AI testbeds and a collaborative project with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

Background: 
A recommendation to establish the NAIRR came from the final report of the National Security Commission on AI, and work done by Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) significantly advanced the concept. In January, the NAIRR Task Force released its final report with a roadmap for standing up a national research infrastructure that would broaden access to the resources essential to AI research and development. The CREATE AI Actimplements many of the recommendations of the NAIRR Task Force. 

The CREATE AI Act has garnered widespread support from key AI community stakeholders, including TechNet, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), Anthropic, and SeedAI. 

“The ability of researchers to develop artificial intelligence to solve real-world problems requires an extraordinary amount of data and computing capacity,” said Indiana University President Pamela Whitten. “Without new resources accessible to the non-profit sector and university researchers, we could face a new digital divide that stifles innovation and limits the scope of research that can improve lives. I applaud Senator Young’s leadership and focus on ensuring that we expand access to shared computing resources through the National AI Research Resource.”

“I am grateful to Senators Heinrich and Rounds and Representatives McCaul and Eshoo for introducing the CREATE AI Act of 2023. As artificial intelligence plays a larger role in our economy and national defense, it is imperative that we democratize access to AI resources and cyberinfrastructure throughout the United States to maintain our competitive edge. The NAIRR is a crucial step to achieving this and will ensure that researchers throughout the Nation can participate in the vibrant AI research ecosystem and that AI technological developments benefit society. NSF looks forward to working with our agency partners and Congress to see the NAIRR realized and ensuring long-term U.S. competitiveness in AI for decades to come,” said National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. 

“We commend Senators Heinrich, Young, Booker, and Rounds and Representatives Eshoo, McCaul, Beyer, and Obernolte on introducing the CREATE AI Act of 2023 and urge Congress to fully authorize and fund the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR). The NAIRR is a crucial initiative to sustain U.S. leadership in AI, reap its economic and societal benefits, and foster safer, more trustworthy AI systems. With AI already transforming our lives and creating the potential for enormous benefits, the United States could lose its competitive edge without strategic actions. Recommended initially by NSCAI, the NAIRR is a comprehensive initiative that will help the United States address the challenges and opportunities of AI by creating a national AI research and development infrastructure, training the next generation of AI talent, and promoting the responsible development and use of AI. We strongly support authorizing and funding the NAIRR, as advised by the task force, to fortify U.S. global AI leadership,” said former National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Commissioners Dr. Eric Schmidt, Sec. Robert O. Work, Dr. Andrew Moore, Dr. Eric Horvitz, Dr. Jose-Marie Griffiths, and Executive Director Yll Bajraktari. 

Legislative text can be found here.