Pandemic-necessitated remote work and increased reliance on online apps and sites for routine everyday tasks like shopping and transportation showed us that Internet connection is a critical utility. It also proved that getting connected is not enough -- the speed and quality of that connection have a huge impact on how we carry out day-to-day activities. In a timely coincidence, this reliance on connectivity comes at a time when networks are improving their service to supply that exact speed and reliability.
Introducing a Whole New Level of Speed: 5G
5G promises to be faster with less latency when connecting to the network. The speeds afforded by 5G mean that visions for smart, connected cities can be logistically achieved as 5G networks will be better able to handle more users, lots of sensors, and heavy traffic. The Department of Veterans Affairs is already tapping into 5G to allow doctors to use augmented reality to look at and manipulate large imaging files, like MRIs or CT scans.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows tasks that typically require human intelligence to be completed at machine speed. For government agencies, this means that they can make better use of the troves of data they hold for daily decision making, strategic planning, and citizen service.
Protecting the Bat Population
Bats are a critical part of the natural ecosystems as pollinators and in their role of natural insect extermination. However, many bats are at risk due to habitat loss. When they lose their natural habitat, many take to bridges as a new home, causing potential damage and even posing health hazards.
The development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) became official policy of the United States with the signing of an Executive Order in February. This order outlines and directs America's government-wide push to advance the use of AI through research and public/private partnerships. In the ensuing months, the Department of Energy has emerged as a leader in these efforts.
In September 2019, the DOE initiated the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO) to help channel the department's vast resources across its national lab facilities. These efforts are paying off as DOE partners with Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs as part of the COVID-19 Insights Partnership with the goal to increase data sharing and analysis in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The DOE is also pressing ahead with private partnerships announcing the First Five Consortium with Microsoft, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Defense Department's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). Together they will develop AI-based solutions for data-first responders.