IT & Networks

Will a new AI office energize this agency?

The Department of Energy announced the establishment of a new office focused solely on artificial intelligence projects at the agency.

The office, dubbed the “Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office,will be the “coordinating hub for the work being done across the DoE enterprise in artificial intelligence," according to a department press release Sept. 6.

“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,” said DoE secretary Rick Perry in a statement. "Its mission will be to elevate, accelerate and expand DoE’s transformative work to accelerate America’s progress in AI for years to come.”

According to the press release, the DoE is using AI to improve the resiliency of the electric grid and better cybersecurity, in addition to other things. The department’s national labs also have four of the world’s fastest supercomputers, in addition to building three exascale computers, which can do a quintillion calculations per second. These computers will help develop AI capabilities.

“The world is in the midst of the golden age of AI, and DoE’s world-class scientific and computing capabilities will be critical to securing America’s dominance in this field,” Perry said.

The department’s third exascale computer, worth $600 million, will help the United States move away from underground nuclear weapons testing and is expected to be done in 2022.

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