Federal Agencies Share Examples of AI Projects

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Federal agency officials on July 15 shared a variety of projects and pilots their organizations are undertaking using artificial intelligence (AI) and automated technologies, offering a wider view of how the tech is being employed across government.

Speaking at ATARC’s AI Working Group Launch event, speakers touched on the successes their agencies have seen with automated technology.

John Sprague, acting associate CIO at NASA, offered a variety of examples of how AI is working from the depths of space by identifying unseen exoplanets and supporting rovers, to streamlining back office processes.

On the mission support side, Sprague noted NASA’s use of bots as digital employees by providing them log-in credentials and using them to perform mundane tasks. The agency has three in place, and an additional one under development.

The agency also funded a project to explore machine learning for IT security in 2018, and is currently funding projects to explore automated data tagging, facial recognition for security, and AI for software testing.

AI is also involved in scheduling observations for the Hubble Space Telescope, which Sprague said is helpful in shifting folks to higher value work, a goal of the President’s Management Agenda.

Alexander Measure, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said his agency is using natural language processing to analyze survey responses with improved results.

“Over the last five years, we’ve gone from manually processing all of this by hand to over 80 percent of it automatically processed using deep neural networks,” said Measure.

Speakers urged the audience to consider how AI could fit into their agency’s operations.

“If you’re not thinking about [AI], you better be, because that’s your competitive advantage for companies, agencies, and everyone out there,” said Sprague.

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