In a draft report to Congress by the National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI), the commission detailed that Federal AI R&D funding should be scaled up by establishing a National Technology Foundation (NTF) and increasing the funding by doubling it annually to reach $32 billion per year by FY2026.

NSCAI writes that the NTF would be an independent organization that would complement others, such as the National Science Foundation, and would focus on emerging technology, “fund academic and small business research, coordinate and support a network of AI infrastructure assets, and create transition pipelines for commercialization or government use of technology advancements.”

Compounding the Federal AI R&D funding would bring AI spending near Federal spending on biomedical research.

“Overall, the government should spend at least one percent of GDP on R&D to reinforce a base of innovation across scientific fields,” NSCAI writes.

The additional funding would strengthen research and expand fellowship programs by several agencies, but place an emphasis on the proposed NTF, the Department of Energy, NSF, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and NASA.

In further accelerating AI innovation, NSCAI identified priority areas for AI research investment including machine learning, AI system risk assessment, complex multi-agent scenarios, personal privacy, human-AI interaction, AI autonomous systems, and general AI. The commission also calls for tripling the number of National AI Research Institutes.

“Americans have not recognized the assertive role the government will have to play in ensuring the United States wins this innovation competition,” NSCAI wrote. “And they have not contemplated the scale of public resources required to achieve it. Despite our private sector and university leadership in AI, the United States remains unprepared for the coming era.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.