Home Bots & Brains US launches AI Researchers Portal

US launches AI Researchers Portal

by Pieter Werner

The National AI Initiative Office of the federal government of the United States has established an AI Researchers Portal on AI.gov. It is created in partnership with Federal departments and agencies and the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development coordination office. The portal connects AI researchers to Federal resources that can support their research, including data, computing, and testbeds, as well as AI-relevant grant funding programs. 

This portal is, according to the AI Initiative Office, one of several tools and approaches for advancing the US leadership in AI research and development. The AI Researchers Portal provides pointers to informational guides for navigating Federal research funding processes. The Federal government currently offers at least 140 research funding programs that provide grants to AI investigators who want to explore innovative ideas.


High quality datasets are also critically important for training many types of AI systems. The Data Resources section of the portal provides links to a number of quality Federal datasets and repositories that are useful for AI research, including NASA’s clearinghouse for open data, NOAA’s Big Data Program datasets, NIH-supported open data repositories, NIST’s Science Data Portal, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Open Data Portal.

Cutting-edge computational infrastructure is often required for AI research, including supercomputing, cloud computing, and other types of computing resources. The Computing Resources section of the AI Researchers Portal connects researchers with a variety of Federal programs facilitating access to the computational infrastructure that can advance AI research. These computing infrastructure programs include NSF’s CloudBank, Neocortex, Open Science Grid, and XSEDE programs; NIH’s STRIDES Initiative; and the multi-agency and multi-stakeholder COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium.


Finally, testing and testbed environments can often accelerate progress in AI research. Testbed resources support research progress through benchmarking, enabling reproducibility testing, and building communities of discovery and practice.  The AI R&D Testbed Inventory provides a searchable repository of 40 Federally-funded testbeds relevant for AI research. In this repository, testbed resources can be filtered by the hosting organization, the Federal funding agency, the domain of application, and whether the facility is virtual or physical.

The National Artificial Intelligence Initiative (NAII) was established by the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020 (NAIIA) legislation enacted on January 1, 2021. The main purposes of the initiative are to ensure continued US leadership in AI R&D; lead the world in the development and use of trustworthy AI systems in public and private sectors; prepare the present and future US workforce for the integration of artificial intelligence systems across all sectors of the economy and society; and coordinate ongoing AI activities across all Federal agencies, to ensure that each informs the work of the others.

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