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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Comments on National Artificial Intelligence Initiative


    Julia Omotade, Sr. Science Policy Specialist

    The AAMC submitted a letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Sept. 1 in response to a request for information (RFI) geared toward developing a shared, national artificial intelligence (AI) research infrastructure that is referred to as the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR).

    The RFI will inform the work of the NAIRR Task Force, which has been directed by Congress to develop a first-of-its-kind AI infrastructure that provides AI researchers and students across scientific disciplines with access to computational resources, high-quality data, educational tools, and user support.

    In its comments, the AAMC expressed strong support for Congress’ prioritization of AI, which has tremendous potential to advance human health and usher in a new era of biomedicine. The AAMC also commended the aspirations of the OSTP and the NSF to develop an inclusive AI infrastructure that allows “all of America's diverse AI researchers to fully participate in exploring innovative ideas for advancing AI, including communities, institutions, and regions that have been traditionally underserved.”

    The letter outlined strategies on how the NAIRR should reinforce principles of ethical and responsible research and development of AI. In particular, the AAMC underscored the necessity of building a NAIRR that identifies and addresses systemic inequities at the interface of AI and biomedicine, mitigates bias by promoting representative datasets and algorithms, provides users with a data management and sharing plan that promotes community engagement and transparency, and fosters a diverse AI workforce and leadership.

    Given the vast amounts of data, industries, and applications that will converge with the NAIRR, the AAMC also noted the importance of a multisector approach for identifying, researching, and mitigating bias, discrimination, health inequities, and social determinants of health — all components that currently preclude the formation of an equitable AI framework that benefits all communities equally.

    Finally, the AAMC recommended that the NAIRR partner with diverse communities in the development of this framework, thereby culminating a diverse expertise and fostering community trust. On Aug. 18, the OSTP and the NSF extended the RFI’s public comment period by one month to Oct. 1, providing further opportunity for researchers and academic institutions to respond.