Emerging Technology

Energy Dept. looks for AI impact

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 641963182 By 4kclips Department of Energy in Washington - WASHINGTON DC / COLUMBIA - APRIL 7, 2017 

The Department of Energy's year-old artificial intelligence
technology office is looking for collaborative projects with industry and other agencies that will have dramatic, real world impact, according to its director.

The DOE's Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO), said its Director Cheryl Ingstad, is looking for partnerships that can "save lives" by leveraging the agency's vast and varied AI resources.

Rick Perry stood up AITO in Sept, 2019 when he led the department, as part of President Donald Trump's call for a national AI strategy. AITO is the coordinating hub for AI work being done across the agency's considerable enterprise, including its national laboratories.

DOE's most recent announcements that team with Microsoft for emergency responder apps, as well as a collaboration with Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs to share health data, are both examples of how the agency can bring the technology to bear in critical ways.

In July, DOE announced the COVID-19 Insights Partnership with HHS and the VA. The project shows "unprecedented data sharing" among agencies for a shared goal of using data and technology to fight the virus, said Ingstad during an ATARC webcast on Aug. 20.

In early August, DOE announced the First Five Consortium with Microsoft, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Defense Department's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). The consortium's aim is to develop data-based applications that can assist first responders.

Both projects, said Ingstad, can show how DOE can allow joint access to its vast research and development capabilities across its operations to boost AI.

The JAIC is currently scaling a prototype that uses deep learning algorithms to provide near real-time data to improve first responders' decision making in a host of dire situations, according to DOE. With AI, first responders battling wildfires currently raging in California, hurricanes and other natural disasters, said Ingstad, could have better and more immediate knowledge of those situations as a result of the consortium.

Ingstad said the memorandum of understanding between DOE, HHS and the VA was signed in July. "We're just starting our journey," she said, adding that there is currently "early research in peer review."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected