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NOAA Aims to Expand AI Tech Adoption; Sid-Ahmed Boukabara Quoted

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aims to increase artificial intelligence-related research coordination and partnership efforts through its own virtual AI hub, CIO Journal reported Wednesday.

NOAA intends for its AI center to serve as a data resource that government personnel and the general public can access for purposes such as algorithm and application development.

“We aim to dramatically expand the application of AI in every NOAA mission area by improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and coordination of AI development and usage across the agency,” Sid-Ahmed Boukabara, principal scientist for strategic initiatives at NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., introduced legislation in Sept. 2020 to establish a Center for Artificial Intelligence for NOAA, the provisions of which were incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

In October, the agency’s Satellite and Information Service signed an agreement with Google to explore the potential of AI and machine learning tools for environmental and weather research data processing.

The three-year other transaction agreement covers joint efforts to offer AI training opportunities for NOAA employees and integrate the technology into agency processes.