A new program led by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to bring more Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) into the artificial intelligence (AI) field.
The Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships, or ExpandAI program, will focus on building capacity for AI research by scaling up existing programs at MSIs and establishing education centers at those that do not currently offer AI curricula.
Multiple agencies are collaborating with the NSF on the project, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate; U.S Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
“In close collaboration with our federal partners and with the AI Institutes program, NSF Is launching ExpandAI in order to enable an even broader community of researchers to advance the Nation’s AI capacity in scientific power and workforce,” said Margaret Martonosi, the NSF assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, in a statement.
ExpandAI will provide federal funding to the NSF’s National AI Research Institutes to help develop partnerships and projects with MSIs to develop more diverse student teams.
Through the initiative, the NSF will assist in developing a workforce of underrepresented AI professionals.
“We are excited to partner with other federal agencies in this effort. We envision that this program will not only broaden minority serving institution participation in AI research and education but also inspire culturally relevant AI research activities that address the specific needs of these institutions and their communities,” said NSF Program Director Abiodun (Abby) Ilumoka, who is also the program’s co-lead.