On May 28, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted a meeting of the G7 Science & Technology (S&T) Ministers to collaborate on COVID-19 response and recovery.  The G7 S&T Ministers emerged from the meeting with a declaration, in which they expressed their intent to:

  • Enhance cooperation on shared COVID-19 research priority areas, including public health and clinical studies;
  • Make government-sponsored COVID-19 epidemiological and related research data accessible to the public in machine-readable formats;
  • Strengthen the use of high-performance computing for COVID-19 response;
  • Exchange best practices to advance broadband connectivity; and
  • Advance the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI).

With this declaration, the U.S. became the last G7 nation to join the GPAI.  The concept for the GPAI, which was developed under the 2018 and 2019 G7 Presidencies of Canada and France, centers on the development of a permanent forum – one that includes stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as academia – to shape global policy on AI.  U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the GPAI, in which he outlined the plan for G7 leaders to collaborate to “shape the evolution of AI in a way that respects fundamental rights and upholds our shared values.”   At the outset, the GPAI will focus on leveraging AI to combat COVID-19, including through expediting drug discovery, improving diagnosis and assisting with telemedicine.

The White House also announced that two members – U.K. Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Computing Centre – have joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium.  The Consortium is a public-private collaboration spearheaded by the White House OSTP, and the U.S. Department of Energy, and is designed to help researchers leverage a range of computing resources (including the world’s most powerful supercomputers) to accelerate scientific research and discovery and stop COVID-19.  The Consortium will also begin a new data-sharing initiative with the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe for the purpose of accelerating global research.

The White House’s efforts to explore the potential of supercomputing come on the heels of the newly introduced Advancing Quantum Computing Act (AQCA), proposed by Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9) on May 19.  James Yoon and Lee Tiedrich discuss the AQCA, which would require the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study on quantum computing, in a post on Covington’s Inside Tech Media blog.

For more information about AI, please see our “AI Toolkit.”