AI in Science. When is it real?

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We fire up the show with introductions and a little snippiness on Dan’s part. Henry reports that the weather in Minnesota is nearly human.

AI in Science

Jumping into our main topic, Shahin introduces an article from HPCwire interviewing Argonne’s Associate Laboratory Director Rick Stevens about how the DOE will be using AI in science. This is one of the biggest potential changes in our industry and well worth the investigation. But figuring out where AI fits into the traditional world of research and simulation is a difficult problem. Henry points out that nearly every grant proposal needs to include “AI” in order to get serious consideration.

We discuss Dan’s Great HPC Road Trip of national labs in 2018 and how nearly every lab is looking at using AI to inform their simulations and cut down on the brute force computing they’re doing now. Dan’s national lab interviews are here:  Idaho National Lab, NCAR, NREL, Los Alamos, Sandia, NERSC, Lawrence Livermore

There’s also a slight tangent where Dan talks about driving hundreds of miles out of his way to mess with Henry’s Las Cruces lot and future home. This resulted in an epic short film “The Haunting of Henry House” which is stuck in bureaucratic approval cycles, according to Henry.

RFHPC Hall of Fame?

We also discuss the possibility of founding a Radio Free HPC Hall of Fame, but discarded it when we realized that no one would want to be in it.


As the conversation continues, Dan brings up an article that discusses how COVID-19 might affect processor foundry revenues and demand. We are, as a group, underwhelmed by the analysis. Henry notes that he has seen a significant increase in the price of laptops when shopping for a graduation gift for his nephew. Henry has reportedly seen an increase of around 20% in prices since February.

Reasons Why No One Should Ever Be Online. Ever.

Hackers have stolen and ransomed AMD’s GPU test files, a dastardly act, but not surprising to see. They’re looking for $100 million to give the files back, while AMD has downplayed their importance and value.

Catch of the Week

Henry:  Another empty net week for our pal Henry

Shahin: How is the internet coping with all of the extra traffic caused by Covid19 isolation?

Jessi:   For the first time in recorded history, Jessi’s net is empty….sad.


Dan:  has a SuperCatch! He does a promo of the inaugural episode of a new RadioFreeHPC segment. Suffice to say that RadioFreeHPC Studios has a brand new production of “Charles Babbage, His Life & Times,” a gripping radio drama that will engage your emotions from A-B.

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