It seems the USA is determined to attest its dominance in the field of artificial intelligence. In August 2020, the Trump administration announced that The National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy have allocated $1 billion for advanced research in AI and quantum information. The investment will lead to the foundation of 12 new AI institutes and quantum information science (QIS) research institutes.
The funds will be directed toward AI Research Institutes under the supervision of NSF and QIS Research Centers led by DOE. The $1 billion will be allocated for a period of five years in order to achieve advancements in fields like machine learning, computer vision, and quantum computing. The USA is aware of AI’s importance for the “21st-century American workforce” and national economic growth.
$140 million for seven AI research institutes
The $140 million will be equally divided between seven AI research institutes. Their mission will be to innovate in sectors like machine learning, synthetic manufacturing, advanced agriculture, and forecasting prediction, as well as support education and workforce development. All the new AI institutes will be university-based. The research institutes will be housed at the University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Each of the institutes will focus on advancing AI in fields like targeting weather, developing new materials, digital learning, remote learning, neural architecture optimization, molecular breeding, as well as soft object manipulation and human-robot interaction directed toward solving agricultural challenges.
$625 million for five QIS Research Centers
The DOE will be investing $625 million to create quantum information science research centers that will focus on quantum networking, materials manufacturing, and computing. The funds will be divided over the course of five years to the QIS research centers established at the Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Labor, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The research centers mentioned above will focus on quantum technology, software optimization, quantum error correction, development of superior quantum systems, development of applications like neutral atoms, and superconducting circuits, as well as advancing the field of quantum state resilience and scalability.
The government believes that quantum science will play an important role to promote and protect the country’s national interests and the U.S. Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar stated that this sector might prove to even more impactful than artificial intelligence.
Moreover, the investment caught the attention of tech giants, like Microsoft and Intel that have already committed staff and equipment to contribute to the establishment of these institutes. In addition, the state of Illinois will build two new buildings to house the laboratories for quantum research.
However, $1 billion is not enough to position the US as the leader in AI and quantum computing. In 2020, the EU has increased the annual funds allocated to AI by 70% directing $1.69 billion for AI research, while France on its own directed $1.69 billion to AI advancement with the aim of becoming a global leader in the field of artificial intelligence research and training. South Korea keeps up with the giants of the world and has invested $1.95 billion in AI directed to the establishment of six AI-focused graduate schools.