September 27, 2018

How AI Makes Smart Governments Smarter

By Rachel Eckert
Consultant
immixGroup, An Arrow Company

In the consumer world, AI is being used in innovative ways to connect with customers. Embedded marketing techniques used by online vendors to personalize the user experience and offer up recommended products and services are becoming commonplace.

State and local governments recognize the potential in AI, powered by smart machines, to facilitate a more connected government and serve constituents better and faster. Across the country, pilots are being rolled out that use AI and IOT technology to make government smarter – from street lights to whole transportation corridors.

In the government space AI is being targeted towards data analytics, infrastructure inspections, benefits eligibility, automated traffic control and robotic controls according to data from the 2017 Digital Counties Survey from the Center for Digital Government. AI may be an up and coming technology and adoption rates have been slow, but there are still areas for opportunity in state and local government. Here are three such examples:

Validating Health Care Eligibility at Covered California
The Covered California program has 100 employees working full time to validate eligibility on more than 1 million documents annually. With the use of AI, the state hopes to automatically scan and extract relevant information for input into the state’s California Healthcare Eligibility Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS).

Improving Highway Patrol Response Times in Las Vegas
The Nevada Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada have teamed with Waycare to help officers work smarter to reduce response times and clear accidents faster. Waycare’s platform leverages a combination of social media, crowdsourcing apps and traffic information center data to predict trouble spots.

Predicting Floods in Iowa
Iowa recently launched a system that merges chatbot technology, powered by AI, with data from flood sensors. The new system hopes to provide real-time data through platforms like Skype, Facebook Messenger, Siri, Google Assistant and others that will allow citizens to simply “ask” about the possibility of a flood near their home.

AI is still in its infancy within state and local government, and there is a long way to go before wide-spread acceptance and adoption of the technology. However, there are many small-scale projects such as the digital assistants the State of Utah has rolled out through Amazon Alexa Skills. These skills include everything from practicing for a driver’s license test, getting real-time traffic information to finding ideal fishing spots.

It’s these small-scale projects that offer a starting point for vendors. Look to areas where the state is already providing resources or data to the public that might be hard to find, such as polling location information, school closings or community events. What data can you make more accessible for citizens across the devices they use every day?

Learn more about Arrow’s data intelligence offerings.

This story originally appeared on immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog.