DoE Seeking Comments on AI for Climate Change, Grid Security – MeriTalk

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The Energy Department’s (DoE) new Office of Critical and Emerging Technologies is seeking information on the potential for AI technology to improve electric grid infrastructure and provide clean energy to all Americans.

The March 1 request for information (RFI) notes that the DoE is carrying out its responsibilities under the administration’s AI executive order (EO), directing the department to issue a public report within 180 days of the EO “describing the potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve planning, permitting, investment, and operations for electric grid infrastructure and to enable the provision of clean, affordable, reliable, resilient, and secure electric power to all Americans.”

Specifically, DoE is seeking information on AI to improve the security and reliability of grid infrastructure and operations and their resilience to disruptions; AI to improve planning, permitting, and investment in the grid and related clean energy infrastructure; and AI to help mitigate climate change risks.

The office wants to know how AI can be developed and used by private actors, public-private partnerships, and government entities at all levels including Federal, state and local, to improve the security and reliability of grid infrastructure and operations, as well as resilience of the grid to potential disruptions.

DoE is also seeking information on how AI can be used both by government entities as well as by private actors to improve planning, siting, permitting, and investment in the grid and related clean energy infrastructure.

Finally, DoE wants to know how AI can be used to strengthen the nation’s resilience against climate change, including opportunities to help predict, prepare for, and mitigate climate-driven risk.

“Across all of these topics, DOE is seeking information about costs and ease of implementation for tools, systems, practices, and the extent to which they will benefit the public if they can be efficiently adopted and utilized,” the RFI says. “DOE is interested to learn about how to handle liability for consequences of decisions made by AI algorithms as well as protocols to quantify the benefits of AI.”

“In addition, DOE is interested in information about potential negative effects of broader use of AI on these systems, including concerns about data security and privacy, whether AI may cause unlawful biases or discrimination, and the possibility that AI could have artificial, arbitrary and unnecessary disparate impacts on communities, particularly underserved communities,” the document reads.

Comments containing information in response to the RFI are due by April 1.

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