Amazon helps fund NSF high-priority AI research initiative
Company supports research theme related to human-AI interaction and collaboration.
On behalf of Amazon, I am thrilled to announce that we are strengthening our collaboration with the National Science Foundation in their mission to accelerate AI research for broad societal benefit. Amazon, along with several government organizations and three other industry partners, will help fund initiatives under the NSF’s National AI Research Institutes program.
In 2019, President Trump established the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative, with the goal of “maintaining American leadership in AI and ensuring that AI benefits the American people and reflects our Nation’s values.” In June, the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology published its report, Recommendations for Strengthening American Leadership in Industries of the Future, that calls for new and sustained research to drive science and technology progress. The National AI Research Institutes program, an outcome of the report’s recommendation to grow federal government investment in AI research and development by a factor of 10 over 10 years, is now inviting proposals for research institutes that will have a principal focus in one or more of eight themes:
- Human-AI Interaction and Collaboration
- AI Institute for Advances in Optimization
- AI and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
- Advances in AI and Computer and Network Systems
- AI Institute in Dynamic Systems
- AI-Augmented Learning
- AI to Advance Biology
- AI-Driven Innovation in Agriculture and the Food System
NSF’s call for proposals states, “AI has significant potential to improve productivity across a growing range of domains. Many of the most impactful uses of AI are in augmenting human abilities; therefore, it is critical to make human and AI collaboration more productive, robust, and fair.” Inspired by that potential, we at Amazon are pleased to support the Human-AI Interaction and Collaboration theme alongside NSF and Google.
Last year, we launched a major multi-year collaboration with NSF to fund academic teams performing research on fairness in AI. We also launched a new research track under the Amazon Research Awards program with the goal of engaging with as many diverse perspectives as possible on the topic of AI fairness. Our participation in the Human-AI Interaction and Collaboration theme builds upon these previous investments. As stated in the NSF’s call for proposals, a key aspect of all work under this theme “will be establishing confidence that AI systems are operating on fair and transparent principles that can be understood and vetted by the community and appropriately modified by stakeholders.”
At Amazon, we recognize that solving many of the hardest problems in AI requires mechanisms that bring together the resources of academia, government, and industry. Multisector partnerships such as the NSF’s National AI Research Institutes program are one such mechanism; they play an important role in enabling the best talent in the world to focus on the most challenging problems that stand in the way of broad and equitable access to the benefits of AI. Amazon is excited to be one of the first industry partners for this nationally important initiative, and we look forward to its research outcomes over the next five years.
Researchers can find more information about the National AI Research Institutes program and review the call for proposals on NSF.gov, and can learn more about NSF’s additional round of AI institutes from their press release.