Building out its previous commitment, the White House is announcing a $1 billion investment into two of tech’s most promising frontiers, AI and quantum computing.
Last year, the Trump administration rolled out an executive order on AI declaring its intention to bolster U.S. dominance in the field, but the order didn’t address much in the way of funding its plans. This February, the Trump administration called for more than two billion dollars to be invested in non-defense AI and quantum research by 2022.
The White House’s new initiative will fund a series of academic and private sector R&D hubs linked to federal agencies to work on foundational problems and “pursue transformational advances” across topics like quantum computing, machine learning and computer vision.
In a statement, U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios called the institutes “world-class hubs for accelerating American innovation and building the 21st century American workforce.”
Five AI research institutes under the National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive $20 million each, along with two other institutes partnered with the USDA. The AI centers will be established as partnerships with existing academic research groups at the University of Colorado, University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, MIT, UC Davis and two different teams at the University of Illinois.
Five new Department of Energy-linked centers focused on quantum information science will benefit from a newly announced $625 million over five years. In a call discussing the new initiative, U.S. Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar argued that quantum science could prove even more impactful than AI for U.S. national interests.
“We have high confidence that [this]… will be just as successful as the Apollo program or the Human Genome Program,” Dabbar said.
The new DOE quantum centers will be established at Brookhaven, Argonne, Fermi, Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge national labs. According to Dabbar, the $625 million allocated by the DOE attracted significant interest from tech leaders in the private sector, with Microsoft and Intel among tech industry partners committing staff and equipment to help establish the new institutes.