Only 12 Percent of Agencies use Sophisticated AI; IaaS Helps Overcome AI Barriers

While the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades, research shows only 12 percent of Federal agencies use highly sophisticated AI today.

That’s not to say there isn’t momentum. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking into using an AI-based simulation to test software before deployment. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is considering implementing AI to protect the electric grid. Just last week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the launch of the Text Retrieval Conference (TREC)-COVID program to develop AI tools to analyze a new dataset of machine readable COVID-19 scholarly literature.

In MeriTalk’s “People + Processes + Services = Future-Proofing AI” research, we looked at how agencies are benefitting from formal AI strategies, including improved cybersecurity, workforce management, and quality control.

In total, 64 Federal agencies have experimented with AI or Machine Learning.

Still, the opportunity is far greater. So, what is stalling government progress?

Though the Federal government recognizes the important role AI plays in the growth, development, and security of the United States, and has prioritized implementation by doubling AI research and development in the President’s FY21 budget over the next two years, 42 percent of Federal IT managers report that AI is limited by budget and financial restraints. In addition, 42 percent of respondents identified the cost of managing legacy infrastructure as a major roadblock.

To balance financial investment, agencies may consider non-traditional procurement models, such as AI Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS). Research found that 50 percent of organizations are looking to IaaS to access new technology services, such as AI.

The primary benefit of as-a-Service options is quick access to cutting-edge technology at a fraction of the maintenance and ownership cost. IaaS also provides scalability to increase or decrease services given demand, with the ability to stay on-premises in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.

Forty-one percent of respondents pointed to a lack of technical expertise as another point of concern. And while working groups and training sessions are educating the Federal workforce, agency and industry leaders can come together to catalyze progress.

Agencies that do not have the technical expertise in-house can establish trusted industry partnerships to guide selection, implementation, and development over-time.

In our new infographic, MeriTalk lays out how agencies can merge the capabilities of people, processes, and services to lay the ground work for a future-proof foundation in government agencies.

  • People: Bypass workforce challenges by establishing trusted industry relationships
  • Processes: Don’t try everything at once; start with a simple pilot program
  • Services: Leverage -aaS models to acquire and scale AI capabilities on-premise

For more information, view our infographic underwritten by ViON and Dell Technologies, click here.

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