Module 9: Advanced Topics

Topic 1: AI for Science Discovery

AI for Science Discovery

Earlier this semester, I went to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for a workshop on AI for Science Discovery.  The stated goal was to figure out how we can advance AI to the point where it could win a Nobel prize in science.  Their overall goal was to have the AI win it, autonomously!  This autonomous part caused a lot of discussion and debate.  The talks ranged from forward-thinking future uses of AI to current uses of AI and how AI could currently be a partner in scientific discovery.

What we are going to do for this topic is to explore some of the talks from the workshop.  They have all of the talks online but they are using Vimeo (not YouTube) so I can’t find a way to link to a specific playlist. Here are the materials that you will need.

  • The agenda with each session’s speakers and topics is here
  • The videos are all here

Required videos 

  • Please navigate to Session 2 in the playlist and watch the four talks.  You can watch the Q&A if you want to but what I really want you to see is the variety of ways in which AI is currently being used.  One of the speakers happens to be me 🙂 But really I want you to see the wide variety of applications currently in use.

Choose your own videos/topics

  • Use the agenda to pick and choose several other talks to watch!  There are lots of great other talks.  If you want to get a preview of our in-class speaker this week, be sure to check out Session 7 Steve Chien.


  • Remember: Dr Chien is giving a talk to our class on Thursday Nov 30 at 4:30 CT.  ALL students (hybrid or online) are invited to attend in the classroom.  If you are online only and unable to make it in person, you can watch live on zoom (URL in your quiz) OR you can watch the recording after I post it (should be Thursday shortly after class ends).  There are two canvas quizzes for the talk – one for hybrid and one for online.  
  • There is also a grading declaration for this topic: AI for science discovery