CCC Offers Draft 20-Year AI Roadmap; Seeks Comments

By John Russell

May 14, 2019

Artificial Intelligence in all its guises has captured much of the conversation in HPC and general computing today. The White House, DARPA, IARPA, and Department of Energy all have issued strategies or undertaken programs intended to foster AI development and use. Yesterday, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) weighed in with a 100-plus page draft report – A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US – and CCC is seeking comment around its concepts and recommendations.

The CCC, of course, is a body formed to “define the large-scale infrastructure needs of the computing research community” that was created in response to a National Science Foundation (NSF) solicitation in 2006. In turn, the CCC is part of the Computing Research Association (CRA) founded in 1972 and encompassing academia, industry, and government; its proposals, among other things, help inform NSF activities and federal computing priorities.

As noted on the CCC website, “The CCC Council meets three times every calendar year, including at least one meeting in Washington, D.C., and has biweekly conference calls between these meetings. Also, the CCC leadership has biweekly conference calls with the leadership of NSF’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).”

CCC began work on the new AI roadmap last fall, held three workshops and a ‘Town Hall’ meeting in 2019, and yesterday issued a blog calling for comment on its roadmap. Comments are due by May 28, 2019.

Honestly, parsing such a large document is best done by directly reading it and CCC has packed its AI roadmap with all manner of observation and suggestion. Here are its major recommendations excerpted from the bog:

I – Create and Operate a National AI Infrastructure to serve academia, industry, andgovernment through four interlocking capabilities:

a) Open AI platforms and resources: a vast interlinked distributed collection of “AI-ready” resources (curated high-quality datasets, software libraries, knowledge repositories, instrumented homes and hospitals, robotics environments, cloud-scale computing services, etc.) contributed by and available to the academic research community, as well as to industry and government. Recent major innovations from companies demonstrate that AI breakthroughs require large-scale hardware investments and open-source software infrastructures, both of which require substantial ongoing investments.

b) Sustained community-driven AI challenges: organizational structures that coordinate the formulation of grand-challenge problems by AI and domain experts to drive research in key areas, building upon—and adding to—the shared resources in the Open AI Platforms and Facilities.

c) National AI Research Centers:physical and virtual facilities that bring together Faculty Fellows from a range of academic institutions and Industry Fellows from industry and government in multi-year funded projects focused on pivotal areas of long-term AI research.

d) Mission-Driven AI Laboratories:living laboratories that provide sustained infrastructure, facilities, and human resources to support the Open AI Platforms and the AI Challenges, and work closely with the National AI Research Centers to integrate results to address critical AI challenges in vertical sectors of public interest such as health, education, policy, ethics, and science.

II – Re-conceptualize and Train an All-Encompassing AI Workforce, building upon the elements of the National AI Infrastructure listed above to create:

a) Development of AI Curricula at All Levels: guidelines should be developed for curricula that encourage early and ongoing interest in and understanding of AI, beginning in K-12 and extending through graduate courses and professional programs.

b) Recruitment and Retention Programs for Advanced AI Degrees: including grants for talented students to obtain advanced graduate degrees, retention programs for doctoral-level researchers, and additional resources to support and enfranchise AI teaching faculty.

c) Engaging Underrepresented and Underprivileged Groups: programs to bring the best talent into the AI research effort.

d) Incentivizing Emerging Interdisciplinary AI Areas: initiatives to encourage students and the research community to work in interdisciplinary AI studies—e.g., AI-related policy and law, AI safety engineering, as well as analysis of the impact of AI on society—will ensure a workforce and a research ecosystem that understands the full context for AI solutions.

e) Training Highly Skilled AI Engineers and Technicians, to support and build upon the Open AI Platform to grow the AI pipeline through community colleges, workforce retraining programs, certificate programs, and online degrees.

III – Core Programs for AI Research are critical.  These new resources and initiatives cannot come at the expense of existing programs for funding theoretical and applied AI. These core programs—which provide well-established, broad-based support for research progress, for training young researchers, for integrating AI research and education, and for nucleating novel interdisciplinary collaborations—are critical complements to the broader initiatives described in this Roadmap, and they too will require expanded support.

As you can see, there’s a lot here and that includes calling for increased spending in the context of a global race for AI. The report declares, “U.S. leadership in AI is at risk without significant, strategic investments, new models for infrastructure and resources, and attention to the education and training pipeline. Other major industrialized countries are already embarking on substantial AI research programs.

  • The EU has announced funding of 20B Euros for AI17 and is currently evaluating proposals for decadal-long 1B Eur0 science projects, one of them in the area of AI assistants. Germany and France have allocated 3B and 1.5B Euros to AI, respectively. The UK has pledged an investment of 1B Pounds in AI, together with dedicated funding for 1,000 PhDs and 8,000 specialized teachers in AI, and has repurposed its flagship Turing Institutes into major data-driven AI research centers.
  • China has announced that it will invest billions in AI over the next five years, creating at least four $50M/year AI Centers and a $1B/year National AI Research laboratory with thousands of AI researchers and engineers, and committing to training 500 instructors and 5,000 students at major universities…”

The scope of these efforts, argues CCC, “are in line with major U.S. research investments in the past, such as the LIGO project ($1.1B), the Human Genome project ($2.7B), and the Apollo program ($144B), all of which not only led to major scientific advances, but also produced significant economic and societal benefits.”

The recommended national Pivot AI Research Centers (PAIRCs) intended to create unique and stable environments for large multi-disciplinary teams devoted to long-term AI research aren’t cheap. The report says, “Each PAIRC would be funded in the range of $100M/year for at least 10 years. With this level of funding, a PAIRC would be able to support an ecosystem of roughly 100 full-time faculty (in AI and other relevant disciplines), 50 visiting fellows (faculty and industry), 200 AI engineers, and 500 students (graduate and undergraduate), and sufficient computing and infrastructure support.”

By way of analogy, the report notes, “There are a few examples of AI research centers that have long-term funding. The University of Maryland’s Center for the Study of Language (CASL), founded in 2003 as a DoD- sponsored University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) funded by the National Security Agency, includes about 60 researchers and 70 visitors from academia and industry focused on natural language research with a defense focus.”

How the report translates into NSF or further US-funded AI activities, of course, remains to be seen.

Link to CCC blog:

Link to draft AI Roadmap:

Link to comment form:

Figures all taken from the draft report

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

HPC Career Notes: July 2020 Edition

July 1, 2020

In this monthly feature, we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it's a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we've got Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

Supercomputers Enable Radical, Promising New COVID-19 Drug Development Approach

July 1, 2020

Around the world, innumerable supercomputers are sifting through billions of molecules in a desperate search for a viable therapeutic to treat COVID-19. Those molecules are pulled from enormous databases of known compoun Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC-Powered Simulations Reveal a Looming Climatic Threat to Vital Monsoon Seasons

June 30, 2020

As June draws to a close, eyes are turning to the latter half of the year – and with it, the monsoon and hurricane seasons that can prove vital or devastating for many of the world’s coastal communities. Now, climate Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This year is no different though the conversion of ISC to a digital Read more…

By John Russell

What’s New in HPC Research: Mosquitoes, [email protected], the Last Journey & More

June 29, 2020

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Maxar Builds HPC on AWS to Deliver Forecasts 58% Faster Than Weather Supercomputer

When weather threatens drilling rigs, refineries, and other energy facilities, oil and gas companies want to move fast to protect personnel and equipment. And for firms that trade commodity shares in oil, precious metals, crops, and livestock, the weather can significantly impact their buy-sell decisions. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Recent U.S. events, most poignantly the killing of George Floy Read more…

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ISC 2020 Keynote: Hope for the Future, Praise for Fugaku and HPC’s Pandemic Response

June 24, 2020

In stark contrast to past years Thomas Sterling’s ISC20 keynote today struck a more somber note with the COVID-19 pandemic as the central character in Sterling’s annual review of worldwide trends in HPC. Better known for his engaging manner and occasional willingness to poke prickly egos, Sterling instead strode through the numbing statistics associated... Read more…

By John Russell

ISC 2020’s Student Cluster Competition Winners Announced

June 24, 2020

Normally, the Student Cluster Competition involves teams of students building real computing clusters on the show floors of major supercomputer conferences and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Hoefler’s Whirlwind ISC20 Virtual Tour of ML Trends in 9 Slides

June 23, 2020

The ISC20 experience this year via livestreaming and pre-recordings is interesting and perhaps a bit odd. That said presenters’ efforts to condense their comments makes for economic use of your time. Torsten Hoefler’s whirlwind 12-minute tour of ML is a great example. Hoefler, leader of the planned ISC20 Machine Learning... Read more…

By John Russell

At ISC, the Fight Against COVID-19 Took the Stage – and Yes, Fugaku Was There

June 23, 2020

With over nine million infected and nearly half a million dead, the COVID-19 pandemic has seized the world’s attention for several months. It has also dominat Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Japan’s Fugaku Tops Global Supercomputing Rankings

June 22, 2020

A new Top500 champ was unveiled today. Supercomputer Fugaku, the pride of Japan and the namesake of Mount Fuji, vaulted to the top of the 55th edition of the To Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers


Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This