AI’s Prominent Presence in NITRD’s Latest Supplement to the FY 2020 Budget

Published: September 18, 2019

Artificial Intelligence/Machine LearningBudgetResearch and Development

According to NITRD’s latest Supplemental Budget to the President’s Request, nearly $1B is requested in AI and AI-related R&D for FY 2020.

Last week, NITRD released the Supplement to the President’s FY 2020 Budget. The annual document provides the planned research and development budgets for federal agencies supporting cutting-edge technology. Budget reporting is structured around Program Component Areas, subject areas that coordinate R&D verticals in the federal market. This year, the supplement is based on the following 11 PCAs, with AI R&D making its debut:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) R&D:
  • Computing-Enabled Human Interaction, Communications, and Augmentation (CHuman)
  • Computing-Enabled Networked Physical Systems (CNPS)
  • Cyber Security and Privacy (CSP)
  • Education and Workforce (EdW)
  • Enabling R&D for High-Capability Computing Systems (EHCS)
  • High-Capability Computing Infrastructure and Applications (HCIA)
  • Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems (IRAS)
  • Large Scale Data Management and Analysis (LSDMA)
  • Large Scale Networking (LSN)
  • Software Productivity, Sustainability, and Quality (SPSQ)

NITRD agency R&D budget request totals $5.5B for FY 2020, a 3.5% decrease from FY 2019 due to unpatterned increases and decreases throughout agency R&D budgets.

Source: NITRD Supplement

  1. Includes budget figures for DARPA ($279M) and research organizations at OSD and DOD Military Departments
  2. Comprised of funding from NIH ($1.5B) an FDA ($38M)
  3. Includes NNSA ($40M)
  4. Comprised of funding from NIST ($167M) and NOAA ($42)
  5. Other: DOI ($1.7M), DOT ($16M), NARA ($0.2), DOJ/NIJ ($7M), USDA ($13M) and VA ($5M)

Federal programs directly linked to and AI-related efforts make up 18% of the total budget, at $973M. R&D initiatives that fall under the AI R&D PCA total approximately $654M and AI-related efforts reported under other PCAs total nearly $319M.

Source: NITRD Supplement

*DOD and DARPA budget figures for AI and AI-related R&D are not publicly available.  

While the supplement does not provide specific monetary breakdowns for each of its investments, two specific AI-related programs are listed with budgetary numbers at DOE:

  • $49M for the Office of Science (SC) to progress the use of AI in scientific applications at SC facilities
  • $31M in EHCS for prototype activities in quantum, AI and machine learning

The AI R&D PCA includes studies in machine learning, cyber challenges unique to AI, algorithms for computational linguistics, and neuromorphic computing architectures and chips for neural networks. Under the AI R&D PCA, 29 federal initiatives are listed and include long-term AI investments, cyber AI, shared public datasets for AI, the promotion of human-AI collaboration and the design of AI system with ethics in mind. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Advanced Exploration Systems (NASA): Develop prototype systems for future human, deep-space missions including crew assistance and vehicle development
  • Spectrum Monitoring (NSF): Use of AI techniques to automatically detect and classify wireless signals and systems.
  • Explainable AI (DAPRA): Machine learning techniques to produce explainable models to enable human understanding and trust in AI technologies.
  • TrojAI (IARPA): Development of tools to inspect AI for Trojans and combat attacks in AI.