White House Summit Reveals the Progress–and Potential–of AI

May 16, 2018 • Bill Mannel, Vice President & General Manager, High-Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence • Blog Post


  • On May 10th, leaders from private technology companies and government agencies alike converged at the White house for the Artificial Intelligence for American Industry summit
  • AI is a growing area for HPE, as seen by our introduction of our Deep Learning Cookbook, as well as a series of vertical AI solutions designed to help customers implement AI across business functions

VP Bill Mannel shares highlights on the future of AI from the White House's Artificial Intelligence for American Industry summit

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no fad. Businesses across numerous industries and geographies are heavily investing in AI, its potential for enabling digital transformations seems unlimited, and the U.S. government is taking keen interest.

That was my overall takeaway from attending the White House's Artificial Intelligence for American Industry summit, held May 10 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Representing HPE at the conference, I was joined by more than three dozen other leaders from technology companies and other corporations, as well as about 100 from government agencies and academia who exchanged insights on their explorations with this rapidly-evolving technological advancement.

The mere fact that the Office of Science and Technology Policyhosted the summit is indicative of AI's ongoing progress and popularity. Perhaps, too, it is a signal that federal agencies are poised to invest more in next-generation research of AI given its potential to bolster U.S. competitiveness on the world stage - economically, politically and even militarily.

Two breakout sessions during the four-hour summit were of particular interest: AI R&D (no surprise since I lead AI R&D for HPE) and a sector-specific discussion on energy and manufacturing, a key focus area for HPE. Throughout, the conversation often steered towards how AI may replace some types of workers in some industries. However, most participantsmyself includedbelieve the overall impact will be a boost in job growth, especially given so many of our job openings for individuals with AI and deep learning expertise are going unfilled.

HPE is knees-deep in AI because we see its potential to improve the speed, efficiency and productivity of our own business operations. Further, we realize our customers need a high-performance compute infrastructure to capitalize on the benefits of AI by building and training learning models that can manage large volumes of data to recognize patterns in audio, images, videos, text and sensor data.

Thus, late last year, we unveiled new purpose-built platforms and services capabilities to help companies simplify the adoption of AI. One of the most popular platforms is the HPE Deep Learning Cookbook, a set of tools to guide customers in selecting the best hardware and software environment for different deep learning tasks.

And of course, our own R&D efforts continue, because we - and our customers - are eager to further optimize the predictive capabilities of AI in a wide range of consumer-facing endeavors, along with such vital and potentially game-changing endeavors as genomic sequencing analytics, climate research, medical science, autonomous driving and robotics.

Based on what I saw and heard at the summit, I am increasingly hopeful that the US government - in recognizing and appreciating the importance of AI - will create a positive environment that fosters public-private partnerships that will spawn further AI innovation.

The AI era is upon us. And our world will be better for it.