The new office will synchronize all departmentwide AI activities, facilitate partnerships and accelerate the delivery of AI capabilities.
The Energy Department established its own Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office to coordinate and accelerate the agency’s enterprise efforts to leverage the emerging technology, Secretary Rick Perry revealed at a summit in California Friday.
“From my perspective, this is a good day to be able to announce the standing up of an office that’s really going to have the ability to transform a lot of different areas in this country,” Perry said.
Speaking in a fireside chat alongside the nation’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, Perry elaborated on a wide range of Energy’s current AI and machine learning applications and endeavors, including strengthening the nation’s national security stance, supporting the nuclear stockpile, enabling the internet of things and much more.
The former governor of Texas also highlighted AI-enabled accomplishments across the agency’s national labs, where inside experts are building three next-generation exascale computers and conducting advanced research on four of the ten fastest supercomputers in the world.
“When I came to [Energy] two and a half years ago, we were number three in the world in supercomputing—behind China, and interestingly, Switzerland. During the last 30 months we have increased the funding for the supercomputing capacity of America by 45%,” he said. “We now are back in the position of having the fastest computer in the world.”
The vision and mission of the newly-unveiled office match that momentum and are part of the agency’s—and the administration’s—recent efforts to ensure that America maintains its position as an AI leader on the international landscape. According to its mission, the office will support the agency in synchronizing all of its departmentwide AI activities, facilitate partnerships and accelerate the delivery of AI capabilities.
“The importance of [artificial intelligence] to our country, the importance of this to your children, to our families and economy, can’t be overstated,” Perry said.
Kratsios also elaborated on the administration’s recent moves to secure American leadership in AI, which he said he enjoys, particularly because it is “extraordinarily non-partisan.” He said all significant stakeholders recognize how critical it is for America to maintain a top position at the forefront of AI innovation.
“I think this is an extraordinary accomplishment for [Energy] and it’s something that I think really speaks to the core of what the administration is trying to drive and communicate on artificial intelligence,” Kratsios said. “It’s not something that sits in a silo, it’s something that cuts across everything that agencies do.”