NCAR to collaborate on national initiative to advance artificial intelligence

Scientists will focus on improving forecasts, better understanding Earth system

Aug 26, 2020 - by Staff

Expanding its use of artificial intelligence techniques to improve forecasting, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is taking part in a major national initiative to advance AI in research and education.

NCAR will collaborate with the University of Oklahoma and other leading institutions on the new National Science Foundation (NSF) AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography. NSF announced an investment of more than $100 million to establish this institute and six others, the result of a national competition to support research and education hubs at U.S. colleges and universities.

The goal of the AI institutes is to "bring together academia, industry, and government to unearth profound discoveries and develop new capabilities advancing American competitiveness for decades to come,” said NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan.

NCAR will focus on conducting AI and risk communication research to better understand the Earth system and advance forecasts in ways that are most useful for helping society manage hazardous weather risks. The center is already using AI techniques to develop new insights into hailstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, as well as to improve prediction systems for renewable energy.

"It's a great opportunity to realize the potential of AI and meet the needs of different user groups, including weather forecasters and emergency managers who need to interpret the information generated by AI systems," said Julie Demuth, an NCAR scientist who specializes in forecast risk communication.

"The goal is not just forecast accuracy, but better outcomes in terms of enhanced warning systems that save lives and property," said David John Gagne, an NCAR scientist who specializes in AI.

The Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography will be led by Amy McGovern, a professor at the University of Oklahoma.

For more, see the University of Oklahoma press release.

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