by Brian Anderson, Ph.D.
The recent InnovationXLab Artificial Intelligence Summit demonstrated what a paradigm-shifting development artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become across the Energy Department, accelerating the pace of discovery in nearly every area of research.
As my fellow NETL colleagues and I took part in spirited discussions with AI industry leaders at the summit, we realized just how big of an impact these new technologies could make enriching the lives of our fellow Americans. We learned about research that was strengthening the resilience of the electric grid, improving national security, developing groundbreaking new health care techniques, and many other exciting breakthroughs.
We also received great feedback and interest in our own cutting-edge AI-related research, which has the potential to revolutionize fossil energy applications. At NETL we are using AI to accelerate critical research to detect methane leaks, screen lower-cost materials for carbon capture, develop and deploy more affordable alloys for extreme environments, increasing recovery of oil and gas and many more applications critical to maintaining a solid energy foundation.
Industry is exceptionally interested in the results that we — and all of the national labs — have produced leveraging the power of AI, and this summit provided a way for us to connect with them, support business transformation and drive economic growth. DOE invests billions of dollars each year in its national laboratory system, resulting in an unparalleled resource that leads the world in scientific research, and the InnovationXLab summits harness that power to expand the commercial impact of the laboratory system.
As it was with the previous InnovationXLab summits — on advanced manufacturing, grid modernization and energy storage — the Artificial Intelligence Summit was a resounding success for everyone involved.