A National Discovery Cloud: Preparing the US for Global Competitiveness in the New Era of 21st Century Digital Transformation

04/14/2021 ∙ by Ian Foster, et al. ∙ 0

The nature of computation and its role in our lives have been transformed in the past two decades by three remarkable developments: the emergence of public cloud utilities as a new computing platform; the ability to extract information from enormous quantities of data via machine learning; and the emergence of computational simulation as a research method on par with experimental science. Each development has major implications for how societies function and compete; together, they represent a change in technological foundations of society as profound as the telegraph or electrification. Societies that embrace these changes will lead in the 21st Century; those that do not, will decline in prosperity and influence. Nowhere is this stark choice more evident than in research and education, the two sectors that produce the innovations that power the future and prepare a workforce able to exploit those innovations, respectively. In this article, we introduce these developments and suggest steps that the US government might take to prepare the research and education system for its implications.

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