Artificial Intelligence (AI) R&D advances the ability of computer systems to perform tasks that have traditionally required human intelligence; this includes R&D in machine learning (ML), computer vision, natural language processing/understanding, intelligent decision support systems, and autonomous systems, as well as the novel application of these techniques to various domains.



The Artificial Intelligence R&D Interagency Working Group (AI R&D IWG) was formed in 2018 to coordinate Federal AI R&D across 32 participating agencies and to support activities tasked by both the NSTC Select Committee on AI and the Subcommittee on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (MLAI). Through the NITRD Subcommittee, the AI IWG will coordinate AI activities to advance the mission of the National AI Initiative Office (NAIIO).

Guided by the eight strategic priorities of the National AI R&D Strategic Plan: 2019 Update, the IWG gathers information from AI experts to ensure that government investment in AI R&D results in innovative applications to address the Nation’s challenges, take advantage of its opportunities, and promote U.S. leadership and global competitiveness. Details of many recent and ongoing Federal AI R&D programs and applications are available in the 2016-2019 AI R&D Progress Report.  The Video and Image Analytics (VIA) Team reports to the Artificial Intelligence R&D Interagency Working Group.

Strategic Priorities

The 8 strategic priorities below are key focus areas for Federal coordination and collaboration:

  • Make and coordinate long-term Federal investments in AI research that strives for robust, reliable systems that exhibit the flexibility and versatility of human intelligence and optimize performance.
  • Promote safe and effective methods for human–AI collaboration through advanced techniques for human augmentation, visualization, and AI-human interfaces.
  • Address the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI by assuring that systems align with ethical-legal-societal goals and formal and informal human norms.
  • Improve the safety and security of AI systems by ensuring they operate in a controlled, well-defined, and well-understood manner so that failures can be traced and avoided.
  • Develop the shared public datasets and environments needed to increase the accuracy, benefits, safety, and trustworthiness of AI through improved training and testing.
  • Measure and evaluate AI technologies by establishing shared standards and benchmarks to address safety, reliability, accuracy, usability, interoperability, robustness, and security.
  • Expand the AI workforce through education and training for K- 20, career professionals, and society-at-large to ensure America leads in the automation of the future.
  • Facilitate public-private partnerships to leverage expertise in industry, academia, and across government to build and strengthen the AI R&D ecosystem.

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Henry Kautz

Henry Kautz
Division Director
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (CISE/IIS)
National Science Foundation

Craig I. Schlenoff

Craig I. Schlenoff
Group Leader, Cognition and Collaboration Systems Group
Program Manager, Robotic Systems for Smart Manufacturing Program
Intelligent Systems Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology

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NITRD AI R&D Federal Investments Dashboard

This dashboard illustrates the Federal budget for nondefense AI R&D investments across several fiscal years. It provides both an overall budget rollup, as well as breakdowns of investments by agency and by NITRD Program Component Areas (PCAs), major subject areas for Federal IT R&D.

Learn more about Federal Agencies investments in AI R&D which shows sustained investments in key priority R&D areasAI R&D Federal Investments Dashboard.

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The National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office (NAIIO)

The National AI Initiative Office was established in January 2021 to oversee and implement the National AI Initiative Act (NAIIA).

The NAIIO along with the NITRD Subcommittee directs the NITRD AI R&D IWG to coordinate Federal R&D investment in AI.

Visit to learn more about the NAIIO, it’s charge, and its significant activities that advance U.S. leadership in AI.

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IWG Coordinated Activities

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IWG Coordinated Publications

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