State and local agencies are home to some of the most innovative ideas in government. Their use of artificial intelligence (AI) is no exception. Localities are embracing AI as a way to make sense of all the data they hold to better understand how citizens are using their services and where gaps may exist. A survey from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released in the fall of 2019 found that 32% of those surveyed "strongly agreed" that AI and related technologies can help them meet citizen demands and improve operations. Specifically, the survey found that nearly 50% of respondents planned to use AI as a way to shift workers away from rote tasks and toward high-value activities.
Taking a look around the country, we see some interesting applications of AI at the state and local level.
- Reducing Backlogs - Tying into the survey findings that AI can assist with routine, repetitive tasks, many organizations are leveraging the technology to tackle administrative backlogs. Ohio launched the Disability Onset Alert Bot to reduce backlogs in the system that determines eligibility for public assistance. In a five-week period, the bot cleared 3,000 cases. With the disruptions caused by COVID shutdowns, bots play a critical role in tackling growing backlogs.
- Enabling Self Service - Related to the reduction of backlogs, AI plays a huge role in creating self-service digital channels that enable citizens to complete tasks online that once required an in-person visit or interaction with a human representative. If bots can be programmed to handle routine questions, such as pointing people to a form or confirming mailing addresses, human service agents are freed up to handle more complex issues.
- Speeding Public Communication - An AI-powered app is helping police get dash and body cam video to the public faster. When distributing video or still footage, ensuring the privacy of people in the image and not involved in the crime is critical, but so is speed in getting the public involved in the search. Using AI technology, images can be quickly redacted to enable police officers to blur what should not be seen and deliver the images via social media and other methods quickly.
- Autonomous Vehicles - In Florida, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority is using a fleet of autonomous vehicles to move COVID tests from drive-up testing sites to labs. Enabled by machine learning and AI, these vehicles help protect healthcare workers from further exposure and keep them on the front lines helping patients rather than delivering tests.
For more information on AI and how it is being implemented at all levels of government, check out the following events.
- AI Just Beyond Tomorrow (May 28, 2020; Webcast) - Hear from Peter Singer, author of Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, along with a variety of notable leaders within the technology sector as they discuss the challenges and priorities that revolve around AI integration. Learn about the impact that AI has on the private and public sectors, along with the steps that leaders in the field have taken to remain up to speed with the rapid advancement of technology.
- AFCEA Bethesda Law Enforcement and Public Safety Technology Forum (July 29-30, 2020; Virtual) - At this event, government and industry stakeholders share ideas and experiences on what is needed to achieve the insight, collaboration, and agility to protect the homeland and all of its communities. It will look at the role of technology in meeting this vision and explore potential solutions to the common challenges of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop better collection, sharing, and use of data.
- Ai4 2020 (August 18-20, 2020; Virtual Event) - With a use-case oriented approach to content, this event looks to deliver actionable insights from those working on the frontlines of AI. The event provides a common framework for thinking about what AI means to each industry and delivers content that progresses understanding at any stage of an organization's AI journey.
- AI Week (November 16-20, 2020; Washington, DC) - This event is focused on AI's potential to transform and disrupt public sector organizations and related industries like transportation, healthcare, banking, and more. During AI Week, leaders from government, industry, and academia will gather in the nation's capital to showcase the latest innovations, technologies, and trends in AI and explore, learn, and share best practices. Over the course of one week, AI Week will connect a community of public sector leaders and innovators through interactive sessions and networking opportunities to support the development and adoption of this revolutionary technology.