SMD Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiative

NASA Science Mission Directorate’s (SMD) Strategy for Data Management and Computing for Groundbreaking Science 2019-2024 Report identified that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has yet to be fully appreciated and understood by SMD and science disciplines. Specifically, Strategy 2.4 in the report states “Invest in the tools and training necessary to enable breakthrough science through application of AI/ML” and recommends that “SMD should make investments to incentivize and educate the community on how to use AI/ML to approach science in new ways. Hands-on training can be achieved through expansion of hackathons, competitions, and grant programs. Science results and lessons learned about the use of AI/ML will be shared at community meetings to increase awareness of the potential of these techniques”.


In response, SMD established an SMD AI working group consisting of AI experts from all science divisions and high end computing program to begin working on SMD level AI/ML initiatives. The goals of this initiative are:

  • Provide a holistic view of AI/ML across SMD with respect to data and computing including current landscape, workforce, policies, and challenges
  • Collaboratively develop a roadmap to leverage large volumes of data and computation to accelerate AI/ML across NASA science
  • Demonstrate harmonized SMD AI/ML activities to the agency’s digital transformation effort
  • Identify areas of natural collaborations and develop a plan for cross-division AI/ML collaboration on data, model, and computing
  • Develop a long term strategic roadmap for AI to advance NASA science


If you have any questions about the SMD AI initiatives, please contact Dr. Manil Maskey


AI Initiative