USA creates task force for AI data exchange


The Biden government has set up a task force to promote access to data and other resources to fuel artificial intelligence (AI) research.

The National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force includes the White House and the National Science Foundation. It fulfills a congressional mandate adopted as part of the National AI Initiative of 2020, which also called for a National AI Research Resource (NAIRR). The task force will be a federal advisory committee that will develop a roadmap for implementing and managing the NAIRR.

As part of its mandate, the 12-person committee will also formulate ways to share huge chunks of anonymous data to aid in AI training, officials said.

Erwin Gianchandani, senior advisor at the National Science Foundation and co-chair of the task force, said the Wall Street Journal that he would like researchers to access anonymous driving data in order to develop AI-based safety solutions.

Securely accessing anonymous data – also known as “anonymized data” – is a difficult problem, as research has shown that it can only sometimes be done under the right circumstances. The exchange of anonymized data is at the center of a political dispute in the UK, where the government plans to share medical data with researchers.

The task force consists of AI experts from science, politics and big tech. Its members are:

  • Erwin Gianchandani, NSF (Co-Chair)
  • Lynne Parker, OSTP (Co-Chair)
  • Daniela Braga, DefinedCrowd (a company that sources AI training data)
  • Mark Dean, retired (formerly IBM and University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
  • Oren Etzioni, Allen Institute for AI
  • Julia Lane, New York University
  • Fei Fei Li, Stanford University
  • Andrew Moore, Google
  • Michael Norman, University of California, San Diego
  • Dan Stanzione, University of Texas at Austin
  • Frederick Streitz, Department of Energy
  • Elham Tabassi, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Google has been criticized for a patchy track record in AI ethics. After a week, the company scrapped its AI ethics board and then did not apologize after firing Timnit Gebru, co-head of AI ethics, allegedly over concerns about the ethics of some of its AI research.

There are no privacy or civil rights advocacy groups on the committee mandated to investigate these issues under the legislation that created it.

The task force likely represents an overhaul of the AI ​​Initiative bureau that the Trump administration rushed into in the last week of its tenure.

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