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US DoE sets up artificial intelligence office

Steve Rogerson
September 17, 2019

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has set up the Aito artificial intelligence and technology office to serve as the coordinating hub for the work being done across the DoE enterprise in artificial intelligence.
The announcement was made by US secretary of energy Rick Perry as part of President Donald Trump’s call for a national AI strategy to ensure AI technologies are developed to impact positively the lives of Americans.
DoE-fuelled AI is already being used to strengthen national security and cyber security, improve grid resilience, increase environmental sustainability, enable smarter cities, improve water resource management, speed the discovery of new materials and compounds, and further the understanding, prediction and treatment of disease.
The DoE’s National Labs are home to four of the top ten fastest supercomputers in the world, and it is building three exascale machines, which will be even faster and more AI-capable computers.
“The world is in the midst of the Golden Age of AI, and the DoE’s world class scientific and computing capabilities will be critical to securing America’s dominance in this field,” said Perry. “This new office housed within the Department of Energy will concentrate our existing efforts while also facilitating partnerships and access to federal data, models and high performance computing resources for America’s AI researchers. Its mission will be to elevate, accelerate and expand the DoE’s transformative work to accelerate America’s progress in AI for years to come.”
The goal is to transform the DoE into a world-leading AI enterprise by accelerating the research, development, delivery and adoption of AI. The Aito aims to accelerate the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scale the department-wide development and impact of AI, and synchronise AI activities to advance the agency’s core missions, expand partnerships and support American AI leadership.
“Under Secretary Perry’s leadership, the Department of Energy is critical to our nation’s success in the development and application of artificial intelligence,” said chief technology officer of the USA Michael Kratsios. “I commend the secretary for establishing the artificial intelligence and technology office to coordinate the DoE’s vast AI efforts and carry out the mission of the Trump administration’s national strategy for American leadership in AI.”
And Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) director Thomas Zacharia said: “Researchers at ORNL are applying AI expertise and powerful computing resources like Summit – the world’s most powerful AI computer – to address challenges in science, energy, manufacturing, healthcare and cyber-physical security. We look forward to working with the DoE’s new artificial intelligence and technology office to drive transformative solutions in science and society.”