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States Turn Focus to Artificial Intelligence

By Amy Glasscock posted Sep 27,2018 09:28 AM

There's just something about the term "artificial intelligence" that sounds futuristic and far out. Maybe it's those sci-fi movies of years past, or the fear of being taken over by robots in the future. But if you look around at our daily lives, AI has just become a regular part of it. From Alexa, to Siri, to our doorbells and our thermostats, suddenly AI is everywhere. And it's happening fast. In 2017 when NASCIO asked state CIOs "What emerging IT area will be most impactful in the next 3-5 years?" only 29 percent chose AI / Machine Learning. In 2018 (soon to be released), 58 percent chose that same answer. The response doubled in just one year. During this time, NASCIO was working on a new publication, "Ready for Prime Time? State Governments Tune in to Artificial Intelligence," just published in August.
From cutting down paperwork and relieving humans from repetitive work, to e-discovery and improved traffic signals, states are finding ways to use AI and machine learning to improve citizen services. Many states are still evaluating how best to put AI to use in state agencies, but others are in the early stages of deployment.

Our advice for CIOs is to proceed with caution and intention. State CIOs should be prepared to talk about disruption to the workforce and use their role as change managers to think ahead. They should consider developing an AI roadmap to improve the chances of a smooth AI experience. They should also fund pilot projects and be involved in the AI procurement process.

We now know that AI isn't just sci-fi or the future. States are preparing to take on the challenges and opportunities that AI has to offer.

See the full September edition of NASCIO Connections here.