Good morning, and thank you all for joining us for this important hearing on artificial intelligence and our federal science agencies.

This is one in a series of hearings this committee is holding on AI. In October we held one on effective risk management, and another in June on how we can advance trustworthy AI to support American competitiveness.

Along with those hearings, today’s will help inform future legislation on AI.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the committee process when it comes to crafting legislation. We’ve had detailed discussions with government agencies, industry – large and small – and academics about what is working and what more needs to be done to ensure the development of safe, trustworthy AI.

All those discussions will be considered when this committee drafts legislation, giving everyone input into this important debate.

Today’s hearing will delve into how AI is being utilized by our federal science agencies and how it’s driving progress in our broader research ecosystem.

There are three critical components in the formula for successful AI innovation: access to a skilled workforce, access to computing power, and access to data.

Our federal science agencies play an important role in all three of these areas.

The National Science Foundation is working with our universities to address the workforce challenge. I expect we’ll hear from Georgia Tech today about the importance of educating and inspiring the next generation of AI talent.

Having capable, trained STEM workers at all points of the chain in the AI workforce is going to be crucial if we are to compete with China. 

Our federal science agencies also play a large role when it comes to access to compute. The Department of Energy and our National Labs have some of the most high-powered computers in the world. Their computing resources provide an unmatched ability to develop new and innovative AI models.

They’ll also be providing user access to the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility’s AI Testbed. This will allow users to run new and complex models on everything from energy production to drug development.

When it comes to access to data, I expect that we’ll have a lot of discussion today about the National AI Research Resource, or NAIRR.

We authorized the NAIRR task force as part of the National AI Initiative to consider how to create a shared infrastructure that U.S. researchers could use to conduct better AI research.

The NAIRR Pilot is off to a strong start already, with broad interagency and industry support. I’m excited to see how it will deliver resources to the full range of AI researchers in this country, from universities to small startups.

Staying at the head of the competition as we develop trustworthy AI has been a high priority for this Committee for years.

We emphasized it with the National AI Initiative and again with CHIPS and Science. And we’ve long recognized the dangers of having AI development take place in just a few select companies with access to critical resources.

NAIRR is an effort to expand our development of AI and to ensure good ideas aren’t being lost in the shuffle due to lack of resources.

So I’m looking forward to hearing more about this pilot and how it’s developing.

AI is the next frontier in technological development. It is going to reshape how we do business, how we learn, and how we interact with each other. So it’s critical that we get this right.

I’d like to thank the witnesses for your time today, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this important subject.