USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. National Science Foundation have announced a $220 million investment in 11 new Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes that will be led by NSF.

The new investment will build on the $140 million already invested in seven AI Research Institutes last year.

The programs are intended to result in a range of advances, including adapting AI into a more accessible “plug and play” technology, innovating solutions to strengthen agriculture and food supply chains, and improving online learning via AI.

“These innovation centers will speed our ability to meet critical needs in the future agricultural workforce, providing equitable and fair market access, increasing nutrition security and providing tools for climate-smart agriculture,” said NIFA Director Carrie Castille.

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To meet their investment goals, NSF also partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, Google, Amazon, Intel, and Accenture.

In addition to the $140 million invested last year, NIFA’s investment will expand the reach of the AI Research Institutes to 37 states.

“These institutes are hubs for academia, industry and government to accelerate discovery and innovation in AI,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “Inspiring talent and ideas everywhere in this important area will lead to new capabilities that improve our lives from medicine to entertainment to transportation and cybersecurity and position us in the vanguard of competitiveness and prosperity.”

Examples of two of the institutes funded are the NIFA Institute for Agricultural AI for Transforming Workforce and Decision Support and the NIFA AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture.

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