Reps. Eshoo, Gonzalez, Sherrill Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Develop National AI Research Resource

June 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Anna G. Eshoo, (D-CA), Anthony Gonzales (R-OH), and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) introduced the bipartisan and bicameral National AI Research Resource Task Force Act, which establishes a task force to develop a roadmap for a national artificial intelligence (AI) research resource. This legislation will convene a group of technical experts across academia, government, and industry to develop a detailed plan for how the U.S. can build, deploy, govern, and sustain a national research cloud. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

"AI is shaping our lives in so many ways, but the true potential of it to improve society is still being discovered by researchers," said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo. "I'm proud to introduce legislation that reimagines how AI research will be conducted by pooling data, compute power, and educational resources for researchers around our country. This legislation ensures that our country will retain our global lead in AI."

"The use of artificial intelligence technology will be a defining technology of the 21st century," said Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. "This task force will help establish a framework for the use of AI in the U.S. that can ensure our innovators are able to lead on the global stage long into the future. I am proud to partner with Rep. Eshoo and Senator Portman on this bill, and I look forward to continuing to promote American leadership and innovation in AI."

“The new challenges and new opportunities in artificial intelligence make it necessary to support a place where national security researchers from across the spectrum can share their resources and collaborate,” said Rep. Sherrill. “The task force is an important step forward in this crucial field. I want to thank Rep. Eshoo and Rep. Gonzalez for their bipartisan leadership, and I look forward to continuing to work with them on this important project.”

“We cannot take America's AI leadership for granted. With China focused on toppling the United States' leadership in AI, we need to redouble our efforts with a sustained commitment to the best and brightest by developing a national research cloud to ensure our technical researchers get the tools they need to succeed,” said Senator Portman. “This legislation takes the first steps towards a national research cloud. By democratizing access to computing power we ensure that any American with computer science talent can pursue their good ideas.”

“Artificial Intelligence is likely to be one of the most transformative technologies of all time. If we defer its development to other nations, important ethical, safety, and privacy principles will be at risk, which not only harms the United States, but also the international community as a whole. That is why it is critical that we bridge the gap between public and private developers and collaborate on efforts to develop a sustainable, national research cloud – bringing everyone into the fold,” said Senator Heinrich. “I am proud to introduce this bicameral, bipartisan legislation as a first step to increasing access to the type of supercomputing capability once reserved only for government labs and universities. Providing these capabilities to researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs around the country will ensure that America stays at the cutting edge of AI technology.”

“The National AI Research Resource Task Force Act of 2020 is vital to American innovation,” said John Etchemendy, Denning Co-Director, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and Provost Emeritus at Stanford University. “A National Research Cloud will give academic researchers the tools needed to advance artificial intelligence far into the future. It will also elevate the ability of all colleges and universities to provide the research and teaching needed to maintain our competitiveness in AI. I applaud Congresswoman Eshoo and Senator Portman on taking the first step towards a National Research Cloud through this key piece of legislation.”

“The Ohio State University supports the National AI Research Resources Task Force Act,” said Morley O. Stone, Senior Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University. “This bill will explore the creation of a shared cloud computing infrastructure for researchers across the country. By bringing together academia, government and the private sector, we can dramatically increase the speed in which the U.S. can innovate in the highly competitive and rapidly evolving areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

 

Background

Rep. Eshoo has long called for expanding AI research. She led a letter on March 13th asking the House Appropriations Committee to provide robust funding for AI research and development. Stanford, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, and others have called for the development of a task force to implement a national AI research cloud.