Sonoma State University Music Hall Donor, Energy Department Ink Artificial Intelligence Deal for Biomedical Research

Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill of the Weill Family Trust and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry have signed a memorandum of understanding to apply DOE-fueled artificial intelligence capabilities to advance transformative scientific opportunities in biomedical and public health research.

“As one looks at science and the development of new science, especially AI and computing, you really need to have partners to make things work.” Weill told CNBC on Monday. “It’s too expensive for anybody to try to do it by themselves.”

In that interview with Weill and Perry, the pair said the specific aim of the agreement was to improve the diagnosis of brain diseases and neurological disorders and treatment. Perry added that the Department of Energy’s focus includes developing computers that are 50 to 100 times faster than today.

“Artificial Intelligence has the power to literally change the world we live in by tackling some of the biggest problems facing humanity — from improving our environment, to advancing our understanding of the cosmos; from increasing cyber security to improving crop production,” Perry stated in the announcement Monday. “This Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy and Weill Family Foundation will advance groundbreaking AI research and development in health sciences that will enhance our overall security and improve our quality of life.”

In March 2011, Sandy and Joan Weill announced a $12 million gift to Sonoma State University, providing the funds to complete the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center concert hall, opened in fall 2012. The facility, inspired by Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, has been named Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall.

Sandy Weill is also part of the media group that owns the North Bay Business Journal, the Press Democrat and other local publications.