The US Department of Energy announced a 5m funding plan for the development of AI technology research hubs on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. This announcement comes as a follow-up to the National Quantum Initiative Act decision to keep aside $1.2b for this project.
The $625m will be distributed over the next five years in an attempt to compete with nations like China on the grounds of technological advancement.
The announcement was made in the White House Press Briefing, where US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said “The United States must continue to lead the world in AI and quantum. We know that our adversaries around the world are pursuing their advances”.
Structure of AI and Quantum tech Hubs
The five research hubs are each led by one national laboratory – Argonne, Brookhaven, Fermi, Lawrence Berkeley, and Oak Ridge – and all these labs are looked after by the Energy Department. Research in these hubs takes place by several top universities, other labs, and the booming private tech sector. IBM, Microsoft, Intel, along with Rigetti and Co. and ColdQuanta Inc. are working on this project currently.
According to the under-secretary for science at the Energy Department, Paul Dabbar, the private sector contributed another $340 million worth of labour, equipment, lab space and other assets to the project.
Experts believe that development in quantum technology could lead to the creation of quantum computers, which are supposed to be much more powerful than modern-day supercomputers. These machines could enable research regarding many topics which are being limited today; from mapping complex molecular structures and chemical reactions to boosting the power of artificial intelligence.