With the rapid growth of AI technology in both the private and public sectors, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chief Technology Officer Frank Indiviglio, explained this week the importance of procuring trustworthy AI tools from potential vendors.

During an online webinar hosted by Nextgov on August 24, Indiviglio talked about the importance of looking deeply at some of the inherent biases that AI systems can carry when evaluating new tools that NOAA may want to use.

“Do I understand the service, what it may introduce into my processing [and] into my analysis, whatever that may be,” the CTO asked in explaining the AI evaluation process. “It really… becomes part of the design and development of the product system, whatever it is you have… you have to have the conversation whether it be with a vendor or with a community.”

The importance of closely evaluating AI technology up front is paramount because, as Indiviglio said, the “more you use something, the less you tend to ask questions.”

Although AI technology poses some risks, Indiviglio offered that the technology has many redeeming qualities that could help with weather forecasting and other NOAA missions.

Some of the current use cases for AI at NOAA include “using AI to identify fish species” from satellite imagery, as well as “predicting precipitation sizes, [such as] hail size,” stated Indiviglio.“There’s a lot of opportunities here,” the CTO said.

Indiviglio added that AI technology has the capability to automate some of the processes at NOAA to “get their job done faster, with better products for… everyone that looks at the forecast.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.