The visionary report introduces an ambitious roadmap for harnessing the power of AI in scientific discovery


June 12, 2023

(Nanowerk News) Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) are rapidly shaping our world, from virtual assistants and chatbots to driverless cars and automated manufacturing. Harnessing the potential of AI to transform knowledge, the nation’s leading science and technology experts have released a blueprint for the United States to accelerate progress by expanding its capabilities in AI and big data analysis.

AI for Science, Energy and Securitylays out a comprehensive vision for the US Department of Energy (DOE) to expand its work on the scientific use of AI by building on existing strengths in the world’s leading high-performance computing systems and data infrastructure.

The report is the product of a series of workshops being held in 2022 under the guidance of the DOE’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The session brought together more than 1,000 scientists, engineers, and staff from DOE labs, academia, and technology companies to talk about the rapidly emerging opportunities and challenges of scientific AI.

The report identifies six AI capabilities and describes their potential to transform DOE program areas. This ranges from the control of complex systems such as power grids to basic models such as the large language models behind generative AI programs such as ChatGPT. The report also outlines the cross-cutting technologies needed to enable this AI-powered transformation.

“Advancements in AI can dramatically change the way we pose and solve scientific problems,” said Rick Stevens, director of the Computing, Environment, and Life Sciences laboratory at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory who co-led the workshop and report development. ​“There is so much untapped potential for AI innovation to drive new scientific discoveries and accelerate the pace of those discoveries. DOE is a natural leader for developing credible and responsible AI to support our nation’s energy transition and nuclear deterrence efforts.”

The report describes a scientific “grand challenge” in which AI is playing a leading role in making progress towards solutions. These include improved climate models, the search for new quantum materials, new nuclear reactor designs for clean energy and more.

DOE is uniquely positioned to expand the United States’ global leadership in science, energy, and security, the report noted. DOE operates the world’s most powerful supercomputers including the new Frontier, Aurora and El Capitan exascale systems, includes the world’s largest collection of experimental facilities and employs more than 50,000 people in its 17 national laboratories.

Six DOE national laboratories led the series of AI workshops and produced reports: Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.


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