The Department of Energy (DoE) is funding $37 million in artificial intelligence and machine learning research and development (R&D) to improve data and operations at the agency’s scientific user facilities.

In fourteen projects across seven DoE National Laboratories, scientists will work on R&D projects to enable the automation of facility operations and data management. The data management projects will span areas including data modeling, acquisition, mining, analysis, and the interpretation of experimental results.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to transform a host of scientific disciplines and to revolutionize experimentation and operations at user facilities in the coming years,” Chris Fall, director of the DoE Office of Science, said. “These awards will help ensure America remains on the cutting edge of these critical technologies for science.”

The projects will utilize technologies including X-ray light sources, neutron scattering sources, particle accelerators, and nanoscale science research centers. DoE’s basic energy sciences, high energy physics, and nuclear physics program offices will support the initiatives.

The $37 million will fund the projects over a course of three years, starting with $11 million in Fiscal Year 2020. The new funding is in line with other recent DoE efforts to invest in AI R&D, including $8.5 million in funding for accessible and reusable AI R&D.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.