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NEWS
First In Series of “AI for Science” Town Halls Held
July 30, 2019

More than 300 scientists and engineers from universities, national laboratories and industries across the nation gathered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory recently to kick off a series of town halls focused on artificial intelligence.


Scientists and engineers from universities, national laboratories and industries across the nation gathered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory recently to kick off a series of town halls focused on artificial intelligence. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory.

These laboratory-driven town halls will collect input from the scientific community on the opportunities and challenges they face in an era when high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are converging and integration of large-scale simulation, advanced data analysis, data-driven predictive modeling, theory and high-throughput experiments will be vital.

According to Rick Stevens, Associate Laboratory Director, Computing, Environment and Life Sciences at Argonne, “The goal is to take the power of AI and work out how to use that power to advance science and to accelerate scientific discovery.”

According to information, the theme of the town halls, AI for Science, encompasses the use of AI methods (e.g., machine learning, deep learning, statistical methods, data analytics, automated control and related areas) to build models from data and to use these models — alone or in conjunction with simulation — to advance scientific research.

The town halls will focus on transformational and large-scale AI — the kind that uses HPC and data analysis, leverages data sets and resources unique to DOE user facilities and has broad implications in both the fundamental and applied science areas. The goal of AI for Science is to dramatically accelerate approaches to scientific discovery, improve scientific competitiveness and open new avenues of scientific inquiry. The town halls will also include cross-cutting approaches that may fall outside traditional notions of experiment, theory and simulation.

The scientific community will engage in a series of broad and open discussions about the opportunities that accelerated development of AI can offer — specifically for science and science use cases. Participants will address critical research and facility challenges in the following areas: application of AI to various scientific domains, data analysis and management, automation and control of experiments, algorithms and mathematical foundations, challenges of scale within and across data sets and emerging computer- and system-level architectures.

An underlying focus of the town halls will be data — generation, curation, sharing and acceleration of data-driven models — and the need for a more tightly integrated national- and global-scale data and computing environment that selectively pairs data assets with a variety of available computing capabilities (e.g., AI, machine learning, modeling and simulation). This environment will need flexible, high-speed networking to connect devices on the edge with centralized and federated computing and data resources, regionally and across the national leadership facilities.

The town hall meeting at Argonne will be followed by three more:

Oak Ridge AI for Science Town Hall
Aug. 20-21, 2019

Berkeley AI for Science Town Hall
Sept. 11-12, 2019

Washington DC AI for Science Town Hall
Oct. 22-23, 2019

The resulting input from hundreds of scientists and researchers will be integrated into a report that will inform strategic planning around artificial intelligence.


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