The Texas Advanced Computing Center is poised to play a pivotal role in the recently announced National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot, designed to accelerate AI research and education. TACC’s Frontera and Lonestar6 supercomputers have been selected as part of an elite group of six supercomputers across the nation to drive the initiative.
Launched by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and its partner government agencies, the NAIRR pilot is focused on establishing a collaborative AI research infrastructure in the U.S. The goal is to strengthen and democratize access to key resources that are crucial for fostering ethical AI development and innovation.
The pilot’s scope is impressive with cooperation from 10 government agencies as well as 25 private sector entities. In an NSF press release, Director Sethuraman Panchanathan commented, “The breadth of partners that have come together for this pilot underscores the urgency of developing a National AI Research Resource for the future of AI in America.”
Along with TACC’s Frontera and Lonestar6, other AI computing resources for the NAIRR pilot include Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Neocortex, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s Summit, Argonne Leadership Computing Facility’s AI Testbed, and NCSA’s Delta and Delta AI.
“We welcome new AI users into TACC and are thrilled to make these resources available as part of NAIRR to spur innovation, increase the diversity of talent, and improve capacity,” said TACC Executive Director Dan Stanzione in a TACC press release. “We have been a leading NSF resource provider for many years and have some of the largest modern GPU-based AI resources that are available in academia. The nation can look forward to future purposed AI resources from TACC as part of the NSF and UT Austin’s investments in AI.”
The NAIRR pilot will initially emphasize supporting research aimed at creating AI that is dependable, secure, and trustworthy. Additionally, it will apply AI solutions to healthcare and to tackling environmental and infrastructure sustainability challenges. The program will also provide essential infrastructure support to educators, aiding them in training others in AI technologies.
“To continue leading in AI research and development, we must create opportunities across the country to advance AI innovation and strengthen educational opportunities, empowering the nation to shape international standards and igniting economic growth,” stated Panchanathan in NSF’s release.
Interested researchers can now apply for initial access to pilot resources via the NAIRR website. NSF plans on a more extensive call for proposals this spring, allowing researchers to apply for the complete range of NAIRR pilot resources provided by various partners.