Show Notes

Hosts:  Jeff Cunningham and Ryan Harris

Description: Is Machine Learning coming for your job?  Will AI replace weather forecasters?  Unlikely in the near-term postulates our guests this month, Dr. Amy McGovern, who runs the National Science Foundation’s AI for Environmental Sciences (AI2ES) and Dr. John Williams, Head of Weather AI Sciences at The Weather Company, an IBM Business. But it should accelerate decision making and generally make our jobs easier by tipping and cueing forecasters. Amy and John speak of model hallucinations like the inaccuracies we see with ChatGPT, but both experts also marvel at the rapid inflection point we are in the midst of.  Learn what AI and Machine Learning do well for weather and climate prediction, where it’s lacking, and the promise of freeing forecasters and practitioners up to focus more on risk communication and individual-tailored predictions to better help society in the future.  It’s a fascinating episode you won’t want to miss. LISTEN HERE


Dr. Amy McGovern is a Lloyd G. and Joyce Austin Presidential Professor in the School of Computer Science and in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. Dr McGovern is also the director of the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography.  Her research focuses on developing and applying trustworthy AI and machine learning methods primarily for severe weather phenomena. Dr. McGovern received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002 and was a senior postdoctoral research associate at the University of Massachusetts until joining the University of Oklahoma in January, 2005. She received her MS from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1998) and her BS (honors) from Carnegie Mellon University (1996).  Dr McGovern is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. John K. Williams is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Head of Weather AI Sciences at The Weather Company, an IBM Business where he leads a team of scientists and software engineers who use artificial intelligence and data science in conjunction with meteorological expertise to create and verify innovative state-of-the-art weather forecasts that routinely serve individuals and businesses around the globe, including via the Weather Channel mobile app and Before joining The Weather Company in 2015, John worked as a Project Scientist in the Research Applications Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research where he led projects funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and private industry to develop decision support systems related to aviation weather detection, nowcasting and forecasting, as well as renewable energy and energy demand forecasting. John is a member of the Senior Leadership Team for the National Science Foundation’s Artificial Intelligence Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate and Coastal Oceanography led by the University of Oklahoma. He previously served on the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Artificial Intelligence Applications to Environmental Science, including as Chair. John earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics, M.S. in Applied Mathematics and M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Colorado and his B.A. (Honors) in Physics from Swarthmore College.


How Our Guests Became Experts in Artificial Intelligence


A Brief History on AI and Machine Learning


Intro to the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography


The Role of AI in Weather and Climate Prediction


Internships in AI for Weather and Climate


For Access to Part II of our discussion with Amy and John, Subscribe to The Triple Point Newsletter and Podcast for Free HERE.