2023 may usher in a golden age of Artificial Intelligence, with new weekly tools that change how we work, live, and even think. There are a myriad of AI tools that exist now that can help to make government more efficient. More tools are being launched constantly. Many of these are creating new opportunities that seemed magical just a few short months ago. Some of these include:
Writing emails, reports and memos – There are several AI writing assistants that have been mediocre at helping to write. This changed with ChatGPT, which can write coherent, usable prose from virtually any prompt. While careful users still need to review and edit the writing, it will soon be a game-changer in terms of helping to draft emails, write memos, and generate reports. (Even ideas for this blog post came from ChatGPT!)
ChatGPT is currently free to use (though may not be for long).
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – No, this does not involve using robots. RPA tools can help automate complex or boring tasks, such as generating reports from the same dataset week after week, processing payroll, scraping websites, helpdesk ticket forwarding, or extracting data. RPA will only become more efficient as AI helps ease the automation process.
Decision Support Systems – As the name implies, decision support systems can also help analyze and process large volumes of information and generate findings. This might be used to look at social media data, helpdesk calls, or survey responses to gain new insights more quickly. Governments can look at healthcare costs, transportation flows, or visits to food banks to help gain faster insights and improve funding, training, or services.
Chatbots – Chatbots are much better than they used to be, and will soon take a massive leap forward in their capacity to interact with little or no human intervention. With the advent of ChatGPT and GPT4, AI can now pass the Turing Test with ease. (The Turing Test, proposed by Alan Turning in 1950, said that a computer would exhibit intelligence if it could hold a conversation with a person, in writing, and the person wouldn’t know they were chatting with a computer. Incredibly, we’ve reached that point.)
Predictive Maintenance Tools – These AI-driven tools will help predict when equipment will need maintenance or should be replaced. This can help improve the longevity of a fleet of cars, water heaters, aircraft, lawnmowers, or a wide variety of other equipment. Predictive maintenance can use data from similar equipment, age, weather, hours of use (or non-use), and other data to improve maintenance schedules. This can save money, help schedule downtime, avoid interruptions in service, and optimize replacement schedules.
Sound Monitoring – There are many ways to tell if a plane or truck needs to be fixed, including visual inspection, time since last maintenance, odometer readings, etc. For specialized mechanics, sound can be a telltale sign that something is amiss. AI is now being used to listen to machinery and vehicles to help spot anomalies more quickly. As with predictive maintenance, this proactive activity can help find small problems before they do damage. Sound monitoring can be used to listen for illegal logging in forests, gunshots to alert police, birds to get more accurate bird counts, and endless other arenas.
Voice Recognition Technology – This will grow more ubiquitous as we use voice recognition for creating transcripts of meetings, as a personal identifier (using your voice as your password), asking computers questions (think Alexa with more sophistication and accuracy), or forwarding calls to the proper department.
At Forum One we are implementing AI in interesting ways. For the federal government, we’re helping to optimize career paths for employees at the U.S. Department of the Interior. We’re also helping to streamline Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests using AI.
With all this potential, we can help you improve your agency or office using AI. Give us a call – we would love to brainstorm ideas with you.