February 26, 2024

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U.S.: Including More Under-represented Communities in AI Research

The Expanding AI (ExpandAI) Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships programme was established by the United States government. Through capacity development projects and partnerships within the NSF-led National AI Research Institutes ecosystem, ExpandAI aims to significantly increase the participation of minority-serving institutions in artificial intelligence research, education, and workforce development.

This programme is a new funding opportunity for a wide range of minority-serving institutions that serve historically underrepresented communities in AI, such as African Americans/Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

The United States National Science Foundation initiated the ExpandAI project in collaboration with the United States Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate; the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and the United States Department of Defence, Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Research and Engineering.

“NSF is launching ExpandAI in close collaboration with our federal partners and the AI Institutes programme to enable an even broader community of researchers to advance the Nation’s AI capacity in scientific power and workforce,” NSF assistant director for computer and information science and engineering Margaret Martonosi said.

Minority-serving institutions are an essential source of the talent and diversity needed for future AI innovation. Diverse AI research participants will be critical to moving the field forward, conducting responsible AI research through more inclusive participatory design, and promoting positive social outcomes of AI innovation.

There is enormous untapped potential to increase talent development and collaboration through federally supported AI research, where some minority-serving institutions still need to be significantly engaged in AI research and education. Therefore, this programme invests heavily in developing capacity and partnerships for new AI programmes at minority-serving institutions and AI Institutes.

“We are thrilled to be working with other federal agencies on this project. We hope this programme will increase minority-serving institutions’ participation in AI research and education. And (the programme will) also inspire culturally relevant AI research activities that address the unique needs of these institutions and their communities,” said Abiodun (Abby) Ilumoka, NSF Program Director and programme co-lead.

Martonosi hopes to see more diverse, inclusive participation by bringing in more varied, talented innovators across the United States. As a result, she hopes the programme will drive AI research, innovation, capabilities, and workforce development in the United States.

The National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2019 Update is directly addressed by ExpandAI. The plan outlines the priority areas for federal investments in artificial intelligence research and development to “better understand the national AI R&D workforce needs and expand public-private partnerships to accelerate AI advances.”

As the largest non-defence federal funder of AI research, the NSF invests more than US$600 million in AI research and education each year. Over US$360 million has been invested in establishing 18 AI Institutes, with additional grants funding research in critical areas of foundational AI research. ExpandAI aims to broaden the scope of AI research.

NSF Programme Director James Donlon believes that AI Institutes are effective nexus points for bringing together a diverse community to engage in AI research and education. Donlon oversees the National AI Research Institutes programme and the new ExpandAI initiative. The early momentum prompted the NSF to launch the ExpandAI programme will invite many more minority-serving institutions to take the lead in AI.

The ExpandAI programme is divided into two tracks:

Track 1: Pilots to Increase AI Capacity (CAP). This track focuses on building capacity for minority-serving institutions that do not currently have AI programmes.

Track 2: The ExpandAI Collaboration (PARTNER). This track provides an opportunity for minority-serving institutions to scale up existing AI research and education programmes and initiate and leverage new collaborations with AI Institutes.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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