DOE and AITO Awards Grant to SETI Institute

On Friday, April 29, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)  and the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO) awarded a grant to SETI Institute for the “Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) for DOE Clean Energy & Infrastructure Resilience Challenges.” The SETI Institute is a non-profit research organization, located in the Silicon Valley. SETI’s mission is to lead humanity’s quest to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the universe and share that knowledge with the world.


This grant will help fund the “Applied AI for DOE Clean Energy & Infrastructure Resilience Challenges” in partnership with the Frontier Development Lab (FDL) – an artificial intelligence research accelerator for space science. Teams with NASA, US Geological Survey and private funding, normally hosted at the SETI Institute, and teams in Europe with European Space Agency funding, normally hosted at Oxford University, will embark on research challenges that apply AI and machine learning to address critical problems for the benefit of all humankind.  Researchers will work alongside designated personnel from various DOE program offices, SETI and FDL on seven uniquely different challenges: Climate Adapting the Grid: DOE Active and Passive Site Remedial Strategies (Office of Environmental Management); Geomechanics for CO2 Sequestration (Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab); Fortifying Subterranean Power Grids (Office of Electricity); Urban Rad Hunters (National Nuclear Security Administration); Wildfire: Multispectral Estimation of Fuel Loads (Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, and Office of Science); The H2 Discovery Engine (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy); and the Concentrated Solar Power Controller Optimization (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy).


The grant entails a year-long research accelerator program, FDL, which culminates in an 8-week summer sprint with early-career PhDs, who will act as the researchers, in machine learning and AI and their counterparts in science domain.  The overall objective of the program is to harness the full power of AI workflows through a suite of research sprints that address the aforementioned challenges.   At the end of the sprint cycle, participants will conduct a digital showcase to present results of the research.  FDL research papers are regularly accepted to respected journals, presented at scientific conferences (in both AI and science domains) and have been featured in multiple media outlets.