Broadening AI innovation: Microsoft’s pledge to the National AI Research Resource pilot

An abstract view of a network

We are delighted to announce our support for the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot, a vital initiative highlighted in the President’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. This initiative aligns with our commitment to broaden AI research and spur innovation by providing greater computing resources to AI researchers and engineers in academia and non-profit sectors. We look forward to contributing to the pilot and sharing insights that can help inform the envisioned full-scale NAIRR.

The NAIRR’s objective is to democratize access to the computational tools essential for advancing AI in critical areas such as safety, reliability, security, privacy, environmental challenges, infrastructure, health care, and education. Advocating for such a resource has been a longstanding goal of ours, one that promises to equalize the field of AI research and stimulate innovation across diverse sectors. As a commissioner on the National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI), I worked with colleagues on the committee to propose an early conception of the NAIRR, underlining our nation’s need for this resource as detailed in the NSCAI Final Report. Concurrently, we enthusiastically supported a university-led initiative pursuing a national computing resource. It’s rewarding to see these early ideas and endeavors now materialize into a tangible entity.

Our backing of the NAIRR pilot builds on our enduring support for the academic research community with resources and model access for deep learning through initiatives like the Turing Academic Program (MS-TAP) and Accelerate Foundation Models Research (AFMR) program.

As part of our commitment to the NAIRR pilot, Microsoft will contribute:

  • $20 million in Microsoft Azure compute credits
  • Access to leading-edge models, including those available via Azure OpenAI Service
  • Advanced resources for developing trustworthy AI, including tools for research in AI fairness, accuracy, reliability, transparency, privacy, security, and model orchestration
  • Resources to enable HIPAA-compliant computing in support of health care research
  • Innovative tools for scientific discovery via Azure Quantum Elements
  • Collaborative opportunities with Microsoft’s scientists and engineers

As we continue on this shared journey of AI innovation, it is crucial to equip the broader research community with the necessary resources to pioneer advancements at the frontiers of our understandings and capabilities. The NAIRR pilot represents a significant step in this direction, bolstering collaborative efforts and promoting a well-resourced, inclusive approach to AI innovation. This commitment is more than just an investment in technology; it’s an investment in our future, and a testament to the power of broad collaboration in unlocking the full potential of AI to benefit humanity.

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