CoE Leaders Remind Feds to Consider AI’s Workforce Impact

Anil Chaudhry and Krista Kinnard from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence (CoE) within the General Services Administration (GSA) reminded attendees at an April 16 AI in Government webinar to continuously put people first during AI implementation at the Federal level.

“We want government to be more efficient. We want government to be more effective. We want government to be more transparent and that’s really what this journey to AI helps us do. It helps us take the public servants and multiply them virtually to do a lot more with a lot less,” Chaudhry, director of AI implementation, said.

This virtual multiplication, however, shouldn’t eliminate the need for human help, he continued. Chaudhry said he refers to AI as “augmented intelligence,” instead of “artificial intelligence,” as a reminder of the relationship between people and tech.

Especially as more Federal agencies begin to explore AI, he said to remain respectful of the job impacts the technology will have on the government workforce, and fully explain these implications to employees.

“Integrating with cognitive insights from people: that’s what really makes AI successful … If you forget that there are people on the loop and in the loop, your AI project is already doomed for failure,” Chaudhry said.

Kinnard, AI CoE lead, echoed that agencies implementing AI should make sure that employees understand job impacts, and added that leadership buy-in on AI is an important step during implementation.

She continued to say that especially with tech such as AI, the CoE acknowledges the importance of putting people first.

“When we’re talking about ethical implementation, when we’re talking about responsible implementation, we really want to make sure we are embedding Human Centered Design across all elements,” Kinnard said. Practically speaking, the CoE does this through “rapid prototyping and implementation,” she explained.

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