Diversity, equity, and inclusion are key focus areas of the Biden administration's President's Management Agenda (PMA). Additionally, the administration issued an executive order in June 2021 directing agencies across government to implement more diversity training, rethink the use of salary history as a basis for pay determinations, and supply gender non-conforming and nonbinary and transgender employees with credentials that reflect their current names, pictures and pronouns. Finally, in November 2021 the administration offered a strategic plan to help guide agencies in diversity efforts, asking for the submission of agency-specific Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) plans by March 2023.
This focus is starting to show results. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a first-ever report on the diversity of the federal workforce. It looked at hiring and retention across agencies and gave a snapshot of the administration's efforts to remove barriers for applicants from underrepresented communities. The report finds small but encouraging gains in racial diversity between 2017 and 2021 with Black employees rising from 18.15 percent to 18.19 percent of the federal workforce. Latinx made a much larger jump rising from 8.75 percent to 9.95 percent. Women's representation grew from 43.38 percent of the workforce in 2017 to 44.44 percent in 2021. Future reporting will look at nonbinary workers.Continue reading →
We've talked about the impact Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are having in government work, but the technologies also stand to make a huge difference in the events world. This opens up new possibilities for learning and interaction. Currently, VR is being introduced into events as entertainment -- an add-on experience to networking and gala dinners. AI is being used behind the scenes to expedite event logistics. Soon, both technologies will make their way further into events and change how attendees interact with the event and each other.
International Collaboration - Google is testing a new speech-to-speech translation technology, Translatotron, which would enable real-time translation at events. Through headsets, attendees would hear a close approximation of the speaker's voice in their selected language in near real-time. The AI translation can run as long as people are willing to talk and listen. Events could use this two-way communication technology for general session Q&A as well as one-on-one networking.
Accessibility - AI and VR are reimagining sign language interpretation. HoloHear uses Microsoft HoloLens goggles to show a signing virtual reality figure. This augmented reality helps the deaf maintain focus on the speaker, on-stage visuals, and the translator.
More realistic experience - An event is a great place to get hands-on with a product, but it may not be the best place to truly experience a product. This article illustrates how using VR can put people in the ideal atmosphere. For example, the reaction someone may have to drinking an expensive champagne may be different if they are looking around a noisy tradeshow floor versus being immersed in a VR experience at a five-star restaurant. Building the right atmosphere for the initial product experience may lead to a better reception and reaction.
We'd love to hear from you! What are some applications of VR and AI you've seen at events? Share your thoughts in the comments. Visit GovEvents for more government events worldwide.