Building a National AI Research Resource
In late 2019, Stanford HAI co-directors Fei-Fei Li and John Etchemendy were among the first to issue a call for the U.S. government to create a National Research Cloud (NRC). They envisioned the NRC would be a close partnership between academia, government, industry, and civil society to provide researchers equitable access to high-end computational resources, large-scale government datasets in a secure cloud environment, and necessary expertise to benefit from a NRC. Stanford HAI led efforts with 22 top computer science universities and a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers proposing legislation to bring the NRC to fruition. On January 1, 2021, the U.S. Congress authorized the National AI Research Resource Task Force Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
To jumpstart the Task Force’s work, the Stanford Law School and Stanford HAI partnered to host a policy practicum on “Creating a National Research Cloud.” The practicum drew students, researchers, and faculty across engineering, computer science, law, economic, and policy backgrounds to conduct an exhaustive study on precisely how the United States can create, implement, and maintain a NRC. After a nearly 10-month investigation, Stanford HAI and the Stanford Law School are proud to present its newest white paper Building a National AI Research Resource: A Blueprint for the National Research Cloud.