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

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Founder and Co-Chair of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, and Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Co-Chair of the Senate AI Caucus, introduced the Creating Resources for Every American To Experiment with Artificial Intelligence Act of 2023 (CREATE AI Act). The CREATE AI Act 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. 
U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Co-Chair of the House Artificial Intelligence Caucus, introduced the House companion bill, along with Representatives Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.). 
“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 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 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 Young.
“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 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.”
"Artificial intelligence has the potential to impact a range of fields, from national security to health care,” said 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.”
“AI offers incredible possibilities for our country, but access to the high-powered computational tools needed to conduct AI research is limited to only a few large technology companies. By establishing the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR), my bipartisan CREATE AI Act provides researchers from universities, nonprofits, and government with the powerful tools necessary to develop cutting-edge AI systems that are safe, ethical, transparent, and inclusive. Diversifying and expanding access to AI systems is crucial to maintain American leadership in frontier AI that will bolster our national security, enhance our economic competitiveness, and spur groundbreaking scientific research that benefits the public good,” said Eshoo.
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. 
Senator Heinrich has built an extensive track record of leading successful bipartisan efforts on AI legislation. 
In 2019, Heinrich helped establish the bipartisan AI Caucus with former Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to keep the United States at the forefront of responsible AI innovation while maintaining important ethical, safety, and privacy standards.  
In 2020, Heinrich helped usher the most significant advancements for AI ever secured. The FY21 National Defense Authorization Act included a modified version of SenatorHeinrich’s Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (AI-IA), a comprehensive national strategy aimed at bolstering U.S. leadership in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and development. This legislation also included the bipartisan National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act to establish National AI Research Institutes at universities all across the country.  
Additionally, Heinrich helped pass the Artificial Intelligence for the Armed Forces Act to advance the Department of Defense’s AI capabilities. He also helped provide the Pentagon with enhanced hiring authorities to recruit more AI professionals and other personnel with computational skills relevant to military applications. 
Heinrich also worked to establish the National AI Research Resource Task Force (NAIRR) to develop a detailed roadmap for the development of a national AI resource for AI research and convened a group of technical experts across academia, government, and industry to develop a detailed roadmap for how the United States can build, deploy, govern, and sustain a national research cloud and associated research resources. 
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. This 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 Act implements many of the recommendations of the NAIRR Task Force. 
The CREATE AI Act has garnered widespread support from key AI community stakeholders, including Microsoft, TechNet, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), Anthropic, NewMexico.AI, and SeedAI. 
“AI research and innovation are essential to U.S. competitiveness. The National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) would increase access to computing resources and promote AI innovation and risk mitigation. We thank Senators Heinrich, Young, Booker, and Rounds, as well as Representatives McCaul, Eshoo, Beyer, and Obernolte for advancing NAIRR development through the CREATE AI Act,” said Fred Humphries, Corporate Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft.   
“I am grateful to Senators Heinrich, Young, Booker, and Rounds, and Representatives Eshoo, McCaul, Beyer, and Obernolte 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.
“ is dedicated to leveraging AI to tackle meaningful challenges in areas like addiction recovery, animal husbandry, fusion energy, and entertainment. But we lack the computational resources to fully deliver on our mission for current clients. Initiatives like NAIRR are critical for companies like ours. By providing access to advanced computing infrastructure, NAIRR would empower us to develop more capable AI systems that truly meet our clients' needs. For instance, we could build machine learning models that analyze behavioral data to create more effective addiction treatment plans for patients. Or simulate complex protein folding to help farmers raise healthier livestock. As a smaller company, we simply cannot afford the cutting-edge GPU servers and high-speed networking required to train innovative new AI models from scratch. NAIRR would put that power in our hands. This national resource would allow us to hire from a more diverse talent pool too, by removing barriers to entering AI research. Our country's leadership in AI depends on enabling businesses like ours to advance AI for the public good. We want to drive progress in our communities, not just Silicon Valley. By funding and democratizing access to state-of-the-art AI infrastructure, NAIRR will empower the next generation of AI innovation that tackles real-world problems. The ripple effects for our economy and society could be enormous. We urge policymakers to support this vision,”said Sabri Sansoy and Fred Leveau of NewMexico.AI.
Find a fact sheet on the CREATE AI Act here. Find the bill text of the CREATE AI Act here.