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AI Enhances Speed, Quality of Plasma Physics in Fusion

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Delving into the fusion of atoms and the subsequent release of energy has captivated scientists for generations. Now, a convergence of human innovation and artificial intelligence is occurring at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to tackle one of humanity’s most crucial challenges: generating clean, dependable energy through plasma fusion.
Unlike traditional computer programming, machine learning—a form of artificial intelligence—is not a mere set of instructions. It’s a dynamic software capable of analyzing data, discerning connections between variables, learning from acquired insights, and adapting accordingly. PPPL researchers envision that this adaptability could revolutionize their command over fusion reactions in numerous ways, from refining the design of vessels housing the scorching plasma to optimizing heating techniques and ensuring sustained control over reactions for extended durations.
Already, the laboratory’s foray into artificial intelligence is yielding substantial dividends. In a recent publication in Nature Communications, PPPL researchers elucidated how they harnessed machine learning to circumvent magnetic disruptions, which can destabilize fusion plasma.
“The outcomes are particularly remarkable because we replicated them across two different tokamaks using identical code,” remarked PPPL Staff Research Physicist SangKyeun Kim, the lead author of the study. A tokamak is a torus-shaped apparatus employing magnetic fields to confine plasma.
Egemen Kolemen, an associate professor jointly appointed with the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the PPPL, emphasized the importance of this achievement, stating, “Instabilities within plasma can inflict severe damage on fusion devices. Such disruptions are untenable in a commercial fusion vessel. Our research represents a significant advancement and underscores the potential of artificial intelligence in managing fusion reactions, averting instabilities while maximizing fusion energy output.”
Every millisecond demands critical decisions to control plasma and sustain fusion reactions. Kolemen’s system executes these decisions at a pace far surpassing human capabilities, automatically adjusting fusion vessel settings to maintain optimal plasma conditions. It can forecast disruptions, identify necessary adjustments, and implement them preemptively, all before instabilities manifest.
Kolemen underscored the significance of the results, noting that in both cases, the plasma was operating in high-confinement mode, known as H-mode. This mode, characterized by a sudden improvement in plasma confinement and the disappearance of turbulence at the plasma’s edge, is the most challenging to stabilize yet indispensable for commercial power generation.
The successful deployment of the system on two tokamaks, DIII-D and KSTAR, both achieving H-mode without instabilities, marks a groundbreaking accomplishment in reactor settings pertinent to the future deployment of fusion power on a commercial scale.
PPPL’s legacy of leveraging artificial intelligence to mitigate instabilities is notable. Principal Research Physicist William Tang and his team pioneered the transfer of this process from one tokamak to another in 2019. Tang emphasized the breakthroughs achieved through the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning with powerful computing resources, enabling the development of models to address disruptive physics events well in advance.
Beyond tokamaks, PPPL’s Michael Churchill employs machine learning to enhance the design of stellarators, another type of fusion reactor characterized by a more intricate, twisted configuration.
The pursuit of higher-fidelity calculations, essential for optimization, faces a challenge due to the time-intensive nature of sophisticated codes. To address this, Churchill harnesses artificial intelligence to accelerate different codes and the optimization process, facilitating rapid advancements in fusion research.
Similarly, Research Physicist Stefano Munaretto’s team focuses on accelerating HEAT, a code crucial for plasma simulation, by updating it to a 3D model to match the tokamak divertor’s 3D CAD model. By streamlining the code and optimizing it through machine learning, the researchers aim to predict and manage heat fluxes efficiently, crucial for designing future fusion power plants.
Researchers also explore the optimization of ion cyclotron radio frequency heating (ICRF) to heat ions in plasma. Standard simulation codes are often slow, hindering real-time decision-making. Álvaro Sánchez Villar and his team demonstrate accelerated versions of these codes using machine learning, enabling real-time control applications vital for fusion research.
PPPL’s Principal Research Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi leads a project leveraging experimental data, plasma simulations, and artificial intelligence to study plasma behavior at the edge during fusion. The project aims to develop strategies for effective plasma confinement in commercial-scale tokamaks, crucial for the viability of fusion power plants.
In summary, the fusion of human ingenuity with artificial intelligence at PPPL is propelling fusion research into new frontiers, promising cleaner, more sustainable energy solutions for the future.
Source: miragenews.com

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Easyjet, eyeing record summer, boosts nerve center with AI

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Easyjet’s cutting-edge facility, equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), is now operational near Luton airport, managing approximately 2,000 flights daily across Europe as the airline anticipates heightened demand for the summer season.
Known as the Integrated Control Center (ICC), this facility plays a pivotal role in Easyjet’s operations, facilitating swift adjustments to flight schedules and monitoring aircraft health in real-time. Situated near London, the center boasts advanced capabilities, including engine analysis and even monitoring of onboard facilities like toilets.
As the aviation industry rebounds from the impacts of COVID-19, Easyjet has ramped up its recruitment efforts, doubling the workforce at the control center to 266 employees, who work tirelessly around the clock, overseeing operations displayed on large curved screens.
Gill Baudot, Easyjet’s director of network control, emphasized the airline’s anticipation of a busy summer season, projecting a significant increase in passenger numbers to 300,000 daily. The ICC plays a crucial role in adapting swiftly to any disruptions, from adverse weather conditions to technical issues, ensuring smooth logistics and minimizing passenger inconvenience.
To enhance decision-making during critical situations, Easyjet has integrated an AI tool similar to ChatGPT, aiding staff in tasks such as aircraft rerouting and crew assignment. Despite technological advancements, Baudot stressed the importance of human judgment in making final decisions.
Throughout the pandemic, Easyjet, under the leadership of CEO Johan Lundgren, has recognized the potential of data-driven solutions to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. Lundgren highlighted the role of technology in optimizing various aspects of airline operations, from predicting catering needs to facilitating predictive maintenance decisions.
Mark Garrett, overseeing customer disruption at Easyjet, emphasized the center’s focus on passenger welfare, ensuring prompt communication and prioritization of flights, particularly those with significant numbers of children or group travelers, in the event of disruptions.
As Easyjet navigates through the challenges posed by COVID-19, its investment in technology, automation, and AI reflects a commitment to adaptability and efficiency in serving passengers and maintaining operational excellence in the aviation sector.
Source: techxplore.com

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Building better ethical standards for AI, for democracy

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In our swiftly advancing digital realm, Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents both a formidable challenge to and a significant opportunity for the health of democracy. One emerging threat to democratic systems stems from malicious actors who seek to exploit AI to disrupt societal cohesion.
The unchecked proliferation of AI language models has underscored the urgent need for robust ethical standards. Core principles such as privacy, algorithm transparency, user safety, fairness, and inclusivity have often been overlooked amid the rapid progress of AI technologies. Establishing and rigorously testing clear ethical guidelines is crucial to ensuring that AI operates within ethical boundaries and contributes positively to the common good.
A comprehensive approach is necessary, one that protects free speech while empowering users to identify and address bias and harmful content. Initially, efforts should focus on detecting and analyzing disinformation, biases, discrimination, hate speech, and deepfakes. Sophisticated tools leveraging machine learning and natural language processing techniques can be developed to identify and scrutinize harmful content in real-time. These tools should be tested with diverse user groups to safeguard free speech.
Furthermore, AI’s proactive engagement with misinformation can play a vital role in shaping public discourse. By actively countering falsehoods and promoting accurate information, AI-powered tools have the potential to guide conversations toward truthfulness and mitigate the spread of misinformation. This proactive approach not only limits the dissemination of harmful narratives but also fosters a culture of accountability and accuracy in digital spaces, enhancing public trust in AI’s ability to combat misinformation.
In addition to detection and engagement, the implementation of automated reporting systems is crucial in safeguarding democratic institutions from threats posed by state or terrorist-backed actors. These AI-powered systems can swiftly identify and flag harmful content to hosting platforms, enabling timely intervention and moderation. Streamlining the reporting process allows platforms to respond effectively, preserving the integrity of online discourse.
Transparency tools are also essential in building user trust and facilitating informed decision-making. By offering insights into the origins, legitimacy, and credibility of digital content, these tools empower individuals to navigate the digital landscape with discernment. From tracking sources to verifying links and fact-checking, transparency tools enable users to critically evaluate information and contribute to a safer online environment.
AI presents both opportunities and risks for democracy. It is imperative to ensure that AI aligns with our shared values to strengthen democratic institutions and uphold the highest standards of ethics and transparency. By prioritizing inclusivity, fairness, and accountability, we can harness AI’s potential to bolster resilience, safety, and trust in our democratic systems.
Source: diplomaticourier.com

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AVPN launches $15M AI Opportunity Fund with Google.org, ADB support

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AVPN, the premier network of social investors headquartered in Singapore, has unveiled the $15 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) Opportunity Fund: Asia-Pacific, in collaboration with Google.org and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In a statement released on Monday, AVPN outlined the fund’s objective as a three-year initiative aimed at equipping Asia’s workforce with essential AI knowledge and tools necessary for the evolving job market. The goal is to ensure that opportunities presented by AI are accessible to a broader spectrum of people in the region, particularly those from marginalized communities.
Through an open call, the fund seeks to identify and select non-profit organizations, social enterprises, and workforce associations across the Asia-Pacific region that effectively engage with workers most affected by AI-driven workforce transitions. Selected organizations will receive comprehensive support, including guidance, financial assistance, and customized AI training based on foundational courses developed by Google and its partners.
Scott Beaumont, President of Google Asia-Pacific, emphasized the transformative potential of AI in the region, stating, “AI presents tremendous opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region, but it’s crucial to equip people with the skills needed to thrive.” He expressed confidence that the AI Opportunity Fund will empower underserved communities and ensure widespread benefits from AI advancements.
The initiative comes at a time when employers in the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly optimistic about AI’s ability to enhance productivity. However, concerns persist among employees about potential job displacement due to AI automation, particularly among disadvantaged populations. Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, underscored the urgency of building an AI-ready workforce to unlock Asia’s full potential and address the socioeconomic impact of AI-driven job transitions.
Jason Rush, Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist at ADB, emphasized the importance of bridging skills and knowledge gaps in underserved communities to facilitate access to AI-driven opportunities. He highlighted the AI Opportunity Fund as a crucial tool to support organizations in upskilling and reskilling workers, enabling them to benefit from the evolving job landscape shaped by AI technology.
AVPN, comprising over 600 funders and resource providers across 33 markets, aims to enhance the flow and effectiveness of capital in Asia by enabling members to channel resources towards impactful initiatives. Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, collaborates with nonprofits, social enterprises, and civic entities to address societal challenges and create scalable, meaningful change. Through their combined efforts, AVPN and Google.org strive to harness the potential of AI to promote inclusive growth and opportunity across the Asia-Pacific region.
Source: technode.global

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