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Artificial Intelligence Research at NSF


NSF has long supported fundamental research that has enabled advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Building the foundations of AI has been a highly interdisciplinary endeavor, which has included many fields such as computer science and engineering, cognitive science, philosophy, mathematics, economics, psychology, linguistics, and ethics. NSF's ability to bring together varied disciplines uniquely positions the agency to lead the nation in research investments to expand the frontiers of AI. NSF-funded discoveries and innovations will help the U.S. capitalize on the full potential of AI to strengthen our economy, advance job growth, and better our society.

New Funding Opportunity Open through January 28, 2019

NSF's Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) together with the Partnership on AI (PAI) are jointly supporting EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs) to understand the social challenges arising from AI technology and enable scientific contributions to overcome them. EAGER proposals pursuant to NSF 19-018 are welcome through January 28, 2019, but earlier submissions are encouraged.

With increases in the scale and diversity of deployments of AI systems comes the need to better understand AI in the open world, including unforeseen circumstances and social impacts, and to craft approaches to AI that consider these from the start. Vital directions include developing principles for safe, robust, and trustworthy AI (including shared responsibilities between humans and AI systems); addressing issues of bias, fairness, and transparency of algorithmic intelligence; developing deeper understanding of human-AI interaction and user education; and developing insights about the influences of AI on people and society.

NSF and PAI will jointly support high-risk, high-reward research at the intersection of the social and technical dimensions of AI. Priority will be given to collaborative projects that integrate computer/computational science with the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

See NSF 19-018 for additional information.

AI and NSF's Big Ideas

Two of the "10 Big Ideas for NSF Future Investment" have a strong AI focus.

Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) engages NSF's research community in the pursuit of fundamental research in data science and engineering; the development of a cohesive, federated, national-scale approach to research data infrastructure; and the development of a 21st -century data-capable workforce.

The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) aims to help build an understanding of how constantly evolving technologies are actively shaping the lives of workers and how people in turn can shape those technologies, especially in the world of work. This Big Idea will bring together NSF research communities to conduct fundamental scientific research on the interaction of humans, society, and technology that will help shape the future of work to increase opportunities for workers and productivity for the American economy.

Funding Opportunities

Below are examples of some of the NSF programs that support AI research.

Related Links

Webpage last updated 11.15.18