Artificial intelligence, supercomputers at Oak Ridge lab is focus

Artificial intelligence, supercomputers at Oak Ridge lab is focus

Carolyn Krause | Special to The Oak Ridger

Artificial intelligence and supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be the subject of a lecture presented to Friends of ORNL Tuesday afternoon at the University of Tennessee Resource Center, 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The speaker will be Gina Tourassi, director of the National Center for Computational Sciences and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems, enabling them to find patterns and trends in large amounts of data. Well-known AI digital assistants that process natural human language and recognize speech are Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Amazon’s Alexa. Their clear voices answer your spoken questions by doing web searches, and they perform other commands.

According to a video on the ORNL website, lab researchers are finding ways to use AI to improve health care (including cancer diagnosis and therapy), manufacturing using 3D printing, and electrical grid security by analyzing large sets of data on supercomputers.

Tourassi will be speaking specifically on “Extreme Scale Data Analytics and AI at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.”

At the in-person “hybrid” meeting hosted by Friends of ORNL, attendees may bring their own food to eat. To view the virtual afternoon lecture, click on the talk title on the home page of the website and then click on the Zoom link near the top of the page describing the lecture.

Tourassi gave this summary of her speech:

“Large-scale high-performance computing environments offer several opportunities, but also challenges for performing data analytics and AI at scale. The diverse group of applications and AI models have widely varying scales, hardware preferences, and software requirements.

“I will introduce data-driven scientific and technical innovations at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. I will also outline some of the challenges we see in operating complex scientific workflows to enable scientific discovery across domains.”

Tourassi joined ORNL in 2011 after two decades in academia. Her scientific work lies at the intersection of high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and biomedicine. She has a BS degree in physics and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Duke University. Additional information about her work is available at

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