U.S. law sets stage for boost to artificial intelligence research.

Congress has embraced a plan designed to let thousands of other U.S. scientists use both cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their own research—and tackle pressing societal problems. The National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020, enacted into law last week, aims to bolster AI activities at more than a dozen agencies. Its directives include a study of how to create a national research cloud that would build on Cloud Bank, a 5-year National Science Foundation pilot project based at the University of California, San Diego, that subsidizes access to commercial cloud services for researchers. It also calls for an expansion of a network of research institutes launched last summer and the creation of a White House AI office and an advisory committee to monitor those efforts. The new law is meant to keep the country at the forefront of global AI research in the face of growing investments by the rest of the world.
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