From internet search engines to autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI)—once mostly the stuff of science fiction—is becoming an increasingly familiar and practical feature of everyday life.

Two factors are driving interest in AI across the globe: the vast accumulation of data in our increasingly digitized society, and the growing capability and speed of today’s fastest computers for processing that data.

AI, including machine learning (ML), is an ideal tool for deriving new insights from analysis of very large data sets. AI becomes more useful as the speed and computational power of today’s supercomputers grows.

DOE stewards some of the fastest computers in the country. These high-performance computers along with the Exascale Computing Program will help build the hardware and software needed to develop and power the future generations of AI. In addition, vast data sets are generated at SC experimental user facilities – including data for high energy, nuclear and plasma physics, characterization of matter with x-rays and neutrons, and the genomic analysis for bioenergy.  

To maximize the impact of data, DOE supports development of new methods and algorithms that increase the reliability (for what type and quantity of data do we expect results), robustness (how might slightly different data change the results), and rigor (have the assumptions and underlying theories been defined and validated) of machine learning algorithm and methods to support their use in scientific research. Individual research programs focus on enhancing the analysis of the data for their disciplines to maximize the scientific impact of data.


The Office of Science has a unique combination of capabilities to lead the nation in AI and ML research and development (R&D) for science:

  • A broad mission that presents new and unique research problems on a national and global scale that can use data science for innovations in fundamental science and energy research
  • Sources of massive and/or complex science and engineering data from sensors, instruments, SC’s national user facilities, and large-scale simulations
  • World-class high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure, capable of world-leading AI research
  • World-class high-performance network infrastructure capable of integrating computing resources and data assets
  • An exceptional workforce with large numbers of domain scientists, computer scientists, and mathematicians currently engaged in AI and related fields.