Have you ever considered the potential for a National (for the United States) resource for artificial intelligence research? If you have, it’s time to comment on the recent request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and National Science Foundation (NSF). Updated 21 September 2021.
On 23 July 2021, the OSTP and NSF issued a “Request for Information (RFI) on an Implementation Plan for a National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource”. Within that request, they outline a number of goals that the implementation roadmap should include. You can see the full list outlined in § 5106(b) of Public Law 116-283 and the request.
But you may be wondering, why are we sharing this?
Well, a number of those are goals are particularly relevant to the work that the Alexandria Archive Institute (AAI) and Open Context (OC), our data publishing service, do. Specifically, OC curates data sets that could be incorporated into the resource.
More importantly though, as anthropologists, we are situated within communities that regularly consider issues of ethics, governance, and the implementation of such a resource. Greater access to resources can be great. However, they require oversight and implementation guidelines to ensure that those resources are just.
Due to this, we encourage everyone to take a look at the goals for the implementation plan. More than that, we hope folks can take time to respond to the specific questions that the request calls for. Why? Because the potential uses, and misuses, of such a resource are things that everyone should care about.
There are a number of important questions outlined in the initial call. Specifically in our formal response, the AAI will focus on the following:
“3. How can the NAIRR and its components reinforce principles of ethical and responsible research and development of AI, such as those concerning issues of racial and gender equity, fairness, bias, civil rights, transparency, and accountability?
4. What building blocks already exist for the NAIRR, in terms of government, academic, or private-sector activities, resources, and services?
6. Where do you see limitations in the ability of the NAIRR to democratize access to AI R&D? And how could these limitations be overcome?“
There are a total of six questions that OSTP and NSF want responded to, visible below. These specifically relate to the nine components that the implementation roadmap must have. We hope that comments from our community, whether long or short, may influence this resource so that it can be a benefit for all communities.While AI and machine learning in general have great potentials for archaeology, this is is a resource that goes beyond our field. It’s a resource that could benefit communities with the least access and largest potential gain from AI research. However, the resource cannot do that without input from the public regarding how it may help or hinder those communities.
Comments are due by 11:59 p.m., EDT on September 1, 2021. On 18 August 2021, the comment period was extended to October 1, 2021. Anyone can submit comments by e-mail or mail. Check the request itself for details on how to submit your response and the updated details on the comment period here.