Sharing Public Service Visions for Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence

I’m taking a break from sorting through dozens of concepts from federal agencies about how they want to use artificial intelligence and virtual reality for citizens in the coming months in order to share with you just some of these groundbreaking initiatives of tomorrow that can be explored at a DigitalGov University workshop this week.

We’re launching our two new U.S. government-wide Communities — Artificial Intelligence for Citizen Services, and Virtual/Augmented Reality — with a workshop, creatively called the Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality for Federal Public Service Workshop, that brings together federal managers behind programs at more than 50 agencies with dozens of private sector teams ready to demo the technology that will drive our innovations together for years to come.

Lindsey Teel, policy advisor at U.S. Department of Labor and advocate for greater accessibility for persons with disabilities, tests Microsoft’s Hololens mixed reality device for improving access to training and education services for citizens with vision impairments.

And while the workshop hasn’t happened yet, participants have already contributed plenty to start with:

Everything from creating immersive experiences that will deepen people-to-people international diplomacy, to converting digital customer service from social media to Alexa, Google Home and Siri
Enhancing economic development for financial stability, health, education and housing, and designing emergency response exercises and decision support systems
There’s some great ideas that involve the Grand Canyon, naturally
Empowering researchers to interact with records that are too fragile or valuable to handle in person, making large amounts of biomedical data easier to navigate, and as one person puts it simply, “space exploration”
Promoting interactive safety games that bring a whole new level of immersion to public service announcements, improving the veteran experience for wounded warriors, and revolutionizing education programs at all levels of development

The list of achievable applications for both artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality in public service is growing, and our two new Communities will serve as the collaborative foundations for sharing information, analyzing trends, and connecting across government with the businesses ready to work with us.

And the list of participating agencies for the launch workshop this week is growing, too…

Architect of the Capitol
Centers for Disease Control
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce FirstNet
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Justice
Department of State
Department of the Interior
Department of Treasury CDFI Fund
Department of Veterans Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
Export/Import Bank
FDA Center for Tobacco Products
Federal Communication Commission
Internal Revenue Service
Millennium Challenge Corporation
National Archives and Records Administration
National Cancer Institute
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
National Gallery of Art
National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institutes of Health
National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center
National Mediation Board
NOAA Air Resource Laboratory
Office of Financial Research
Office of Personnel Management
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Presidential Innovation Fellows
Smithsonian Institution
Transportation Safety Administration
U.S. Army
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. General Services Administration Technology Transformation Service
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Small Business Administration
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Veterans Health Administration
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
White House National Economic Council
White House Office of Management and Budget

While AI and VR are just two of the 16 official inter-agency Communities we host with almost 10,000 memberships across the federal government, they both will need creative, new combinations of skill sets, training, and support — if you have something to contribute to these initiatives, I invite and encourage you to reach out. And if you can’t join us this time, we look forward to keeping your seat warm at the table for next time. The robots are coming.

Justin Herman, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual/Augmented Reality