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NSF Launches AI Research Resource Pilot

PLUS: Sam Altman's Global AI Chip Venture

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Hello readers,

Welcome to another edition of This Week in the Future! The National Science Foundation has launched the National AI Research Resource Pilot to make AI accessible to smaller institutions through grants and funding. Plus, Sam Altman journeys to the Middle East and Asia to set up a global AI chip network.

As always, thanks for being a subscriber! We hope you enjoy this week’s content — for a video breakdown, check out the episode on YouTube.

Let’s get into it!

The Money Keeps Flowing

Image generated by DALL·E 3

The launch of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Pilot marks a significant advancement in the field of AI research and education in the United States. The organization, in collaboration with government agencies and AI companies, aims to democratize access to AI resources with the intent to foster innovation and maintain a competitive edge in artificial intelligence.

The NAIRR Pilot is designed to provide U.S.-based researchers and educators with access to advanced computing facilities, diverse datasets, models, software, and comprehensive training and user support.

Structured around four focus areas, the NAIRR Pilot addresses different aspects of AI research and education:

  1. NAIRR Open: Facilitating open AI research through access to AI resources.

  2. NAIRR Secure: Co-led by the National Institute of Health and the Department of Energy, focusing on AI research requiring privacy and security resources.

  3. NAIRR Software: Investigating interoperable use of AI software and tools.

  4. NAIRR Classroom: Reaching new communities through education and training.

Many of the resources will be provided by private sector partners that include AWS, Anthropic, AMD, Google, Hugging Face, IBM, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OpenAI, and Palantir. The launch meets a goal outlined in President Biden’s AI executive order.

Why This Matters

The NAIRR Pilot is part of a broader strategy to strengthen the U.S.'s position in AI globally. By lowering the barriers to entry, the NSF aims to involve a broader spectrum of researchers in AI, encouraging diverse approaches and applications. This is beneficial for small institutions and individual researchers who previously might have found it challenging to access such high-end resources.

Altman of Arabia

Image generated by DALL·E 3

Sam Altman's ambitious venture into establishing a global network of AI chip factories signifies a significant shift in the strategy of OpenAI. This initiative, which involves discussions with major potential investors like Abu Dhabi-based G42 and Japan’s SoftBank Group, reflects Altman's proactive approach to addressing the anticipated chip supply shortage by the end of the decade.

The planned network of chip fabrication plants (fabs) aims to partner with chip manufacturers to address the demands of AI. The emphasis seems to be on funneling funds into existing manufacturers rather than OpenAI entering the foundry game itself.

The venture is driven by the belief that the AI industry will soon face a shortage of necessary chips, which could hinder the progress of AI. Setting up a single state-of-the-art fabrication plant is a resource-intensive endeavor, requiring billions of dollars, and building a network of such facilities would be an even more considerable undertaking.

Our Take

Altman's venture, if successful, could disrupt the AI chip industry and possibly reduce dependency through redundancy. If a chip shortage is indeed imminent, then OpenAI having (exclusive?) access to such a network would give them a massive edge while competitors struggle. Altman is certainly a wartime CEO, we’ll give him that!

🔥 Rapid Fire

🎙️ The AI For All Podcast

This week’s episode featured Ben Mones, Founder and CEO of Fama Technologies, who discussed how businesses are using AI to recruit talent and how to be successful with implementing AI in the workplace!

📖 What We’re Reading

Why Food & Beverage Makers Should Fast-track AI (link)

“In data collected for The State of Production Health 2023 survey, Augury found that confidence in AI’s capabilities is quite high among food and beverage manufacturing professionals:

37% believe AI could help them achieve quality, yield, and throughput goals.

32% say AI could help them optimize asset care.

26% say AI would assist them in controlling the cost of materials and energy.”

Source: AI For All

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