Dr Gege Wen announced as Schmidt Sciences AI2050 Early Career Fellow


Dr Gege Wen

Dr Gege Wen has been named as one of nineteen Early Career Fellows selected to solve challenges in AI through multidisciplinary research.

Schmidt Sciences has recently announced that Dr Gege Wen will join the second cohort of nineteen AI2050 Early Career Fellows who will pursue bold and multidisciplinary research in artificial intelligence (AI) for societal benefit across four countries, six disciplines, and seventeen institutions. The AI2050 Early Career Fellows are a part of the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Institute at Schmidt Sciences, which supports fundamental research in AI, the application of AI and data science across a wide variety of disciplines, and the creation of high-impact research platforms that can speed discovery.

"I am deeply grateful to be named as one the AI2050 Early Career Fellows and looking forward to exploring this exciting research project with the support of Schmidt Sciences."  Dr Gege Wen

Dr Gege Wen is an assistant professor at Imperial College London, co-appointed by I-X and the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. Dr Wen’s research interest involves developing computational methods for earth and environmental science problems to help fulfill society’s energy needs and transition toward a low-carbon future. She specialises in multiphase flow and transport for CO2 geological storage, sustainable subsurface energy storage, and machine learning for scientific computing.  

Touching on the significance of the announcement, Dr Gege Wen said: "I am deeply grateful to be named as one the AI2050 Early Career Fellows and looking forward to exploring this exciting research project with the support of Schmidt Sciences." 

Conceived and co-chaired by Eric Schmidt and James Manyika, AI2050 advances Eric and Wendy Schmidt’s $125 million commitment over five years to identify and support talented individuals seeking solutions to ensure society benefits from AI. The AI2050 Early Career Fellowship encourages young researchers to pursue bold and ambitious work on difficult challenges as well as promising opportunities in AI, which often involves research that is multidisciplinary, risky, and hard to fund through traditional means. 15-20 early career researchers around the world are selected annually through a rigorous process. Early Career Fellows receive an award to support a two-year project as well as non-monetary support, such as connections to stakeholders to help them amplify impact. 

Dr Gege Wen’s AI2050 project 

The planet faces critical climate challenges that demand quick energy transition and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Subsurface geological formations provide an abundant resource that can store clean energy in the form of hydrogen. This technology enables the transition towards a clean energy system and a low-carbon society. However, hydrogen storage poses unique challenges due to its mysterious reactions with the subsurface formations. Dr Wen’s AI2050 project is to develop AI that can help us discover unknown physics from experimental data and accelerate the understanding of the hydrogen storage process. This project will pave the way for a cleaner, sustainable future. 

Within their research, each fellow will contend with the central motivating question of AI2050:

“It’s 2050. AI has turned out to be hugely beneficial to society. What happened? What are the most important problems we solved and the opportunities and possibilities we realized to ensure this outcome?”

Fellows will pull from their work across a variety of disciplines, including computer science, philosophy, economics, political science, earth sciences, and religion studies. Selected projects encompass ensuring advanced AI systems are aligned with human values, enhancing model robustness, improving the interpretability and transparency of black-box AI systems, understanding economic and disparate geographical considerations, examining the incentive structures behind content creation, and addressing climate-related challenges through AI-driven analysis of energy storage and greenhouse gas emissions, among others. 

Advancing AI

"Modern AI systems are rapidly scaling in both capabilities and impact, with the potential to unlock profound discoveries," said Eric Schmidt, co-founder, with his wife Wendy, of Schmidt Sciences and AI2050 co-chair. "These AI2050 Early Career Fellows will tackle challenging issues in AI to uphold safety, reliability, and promising benefits for humanity.” 

AI2050 has allocated up to $5.5 million to support the 2023 cohort of Early Career Fellows in their multidisciplinary efforts to advance work on the Hard Problems in AI. Fellows are eligible to receive up to $300,000 over two years and will join the Schmidt Sciences network of experts to advance their AI research in fields including computer science, economics, political science, and philosophy.

“AI is now ubiquitous in our daily lives, and the race is on to get it right,” said James Manyika, co-chair of AI2050. “If AI is to have benefited humanity when we look back in 2050, we need to begin now to confront and solve for the challenges and opportunities such as those framed by the AI2050 Hard Problems list.. We have to evolve our society’s systems and institutions to negotiate the complexities of how to be human in an age of increasingly powerful technology.” 

In 2022, AI2050 published an initial working list of Hard Problems in AI, designed to both harness the opportunities and societal potential of AI, and confront the associated risks and challenges. The list will guide the program’s investments, including the Early Career Fellowship. These hard problems include solving for the technical capabilities of AI, deploying AI responsibly, and harnessing AI for the benefit of society. Each Fellow’s research will contribute to progress against these hard problems. Findings from the Fellows' research will be publicly shared in the coming years. 


Based at Imperial College London's White City Campus, I-X is a co-located space that utilises the College’s long-standing excellence in AI. Through a suite of educational programmes and the start of its recent Business Partners membership scheme, I-X has created an entrepreneurial environment to tackle major societal challenges. Its research focuses on both foundational AI and AI applications, with the goal of delivering real benefits to humanity and scientific exploration within the next five to ten years. The impact of these research initiatives extends to solving pressing problems in health, sustainability, economics, and defence. I-X is home to the I-X Centre for AI in Science which host over 130 years of Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellows. The centre is dedicated to using AI to disrupt and advance Science, Engineering and Mathematics and is underpinned by core support from Schmidt Sciences.

I-X Office Space

Schmidt Sciences is a philanthropy dedicated to fostering the advancements of science and technology that accelerate and deepen our understanding of the natural world and develop solutions to global issues. AI2050 is an initiative of Schmidt Sciences, conceived and co-chaired by Eric Schmidt and James Manyika, that aims to support exceptional people working on key opportunities and hard problems that are critical to get right for society to benefit from AI.  


Elinor Pegler

Elinor Pegler
Faculty of Engineering

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Contact details

Email: press.office@imperial.ac.uk
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