News – NSF Statement on Artificial Intelligence for American Industry

May 10, 2018

On May 10, 2018, the White House convened academic researchers, industry experts and federal leaders at an event on Artificial Intelligence for American Industry. National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova participated in the event and issued the following statement.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming every segment of American industry. It is making agriculture more precise and efficient, giving us new medical diagnostics that save lives, and creating the promise of autonomous transportation and advanced manufacturing. NSF is proud to stand with the White House and the rest of the federal science and technology enterprise to ensure that our nation’s values are reflected in the development of critical technologies such as AI. NSF’s investments to nurture AI over the last several decades have laid the foundation upon which today’s breakthroughs are being built.

As we look even further into the future, NSF is supporting fundamental research to bring AI technologies to maturity, thereby enhancing the lives of all Americans. These AI advances span how computer systems represent knowledge, learn, process spoken and written language, and solve problems; and demonstrate how they ultimately appreciate intent, meaning and understanding more like humans. Today, NSF invests over $100 million annually to support AI research.

In addition to funding researchers who are exploring the frontiers of AI, we are also making investments that will lead to a more data-capable, 21st-century workforce with the skills to harness all the potential benefits that AI can offer. As part of these investments, we are supporting approaches that will expand our understanding of continuing education and adult retraining to address how AI reshapes and provides new opportunities for American workers.

The effects of AI will be profound. To stay competitive, all companies will, to some extent, have to become AI companies. We are striving to create AI that works for them, and for all Americans.

-NSF-

Funders News – USAF and NSF announce partnership in science and engineering research

News Release 18-033

USAF and NSF announce partnership in science and engineering research

Agreement will create pathways for collaboration in areas of common interest

May 9, 2018

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova signed a Letter of Intent May 9, 2018, creating a new partnership for collaboration on scientific and engineering research to bolster national security.

The Letter of Intent initiates a strategic partnership focused on research in four areas of common interest: space operations and geosciences, advanced material sciences, information and data sciences, and workforce and processes.

“We are looking forward to deepening our ties with the National Science Foundation,” Wilson said. “We will simultaneously benefit from the research done together with a focus on the areas most vital to the future of the U.S. Air Force and the security of our Nation.”

The partnership is designed to create a pathway between the basic research supported by NSF and the technologies needed to support the Air Force of tomorrow. Common areas of interest will drive cooperation at every level of research, including basic research, applied research and advanced technology development.

“Ensuring national security through innovation in science and engineering was part of the National Science Foundation’s founding mission nearly seven decades ago, and it remains one of our highest priorities today,” Córdova said. “We look forward to partnering with the Air Force on this collaborative venture and using our combined resources to innovate for the benefit of the nation.”

This partnership reflects White House priorities including strong national security and efficient government operations.

“Rebuilding America’s defense capabilities has been a top priority of the Trump Administration since inauguration. A big part of that is translating fundamental discoveries into breakthroughs that make the country safer and drive the U.S. economy,” said Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the President for technology policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “This partnership between two of America’s R&D powerhouses — the Air Force and the National Science Foundation — will ensure that taxpayer funding of basic research is made more efficient, accelerates the development of advanced technologies for both civilian and military use, and fosters job creation and economic growth into the future.”

The letter states that “The Air Force will benefit from greater access to NSF’s considerably larger basic research program and community of researchers. The NSF will benefit with a direct pathway for the technical maturation of many of its research efforts and products, with increased relevance afforded by its direct support of the Nation’s defense posture.”

In anticipation of the signing, the two organizations have already had initial discussions on topics ranging from the convergence of artificial intelligence, data and materials, to placements for fellows from NSF’s Graduate Research Intern Program.

The letter is available online.