Are machines taking over the government?
…and the reasons Dcode42 and AWS joined together
By Meagan Metzger, CEO, Dcode42
Whether you know it or not, your life is impacted everyday by Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning. In fact, if you asked Alexa about the weather or traffic while enjoying your morning cup of coffee, you leveraged A.I. This voice recognition is part of the growing field of technology that is changing the lives of consumers and our interaction with technology.
The government is no exception. A.I. is now involved in many aspect of how our country runs — national security, economics, healthcare, and others. A.I. affords our government and nation opportunities to increase efficiency, make more intelligent and consistent decisions, and provide better services to citizens. As is usually the case, the issue in the public sector is the speed and breadth of adoption. So, are machines taking over the government? Likely not, but they can certainly help.
The real question is, will A.I. be adopted in time to create the same benefit that the private sector sees, or will the public sector take a wait and see approach?
Investors financed deals totaling over $5 billion in A.I companies last year alone. Government is just getting started.
Over the past six months, team members of Dcode42, a government technology accelerator program, worked closely with government leadership and large industry players to understand their biggest challenges. It quickly became clear that A.I. may be a key solution to many agency challenges, though its application is still unchartered territory for most.
The fact of the matter is that A.I. is already here. Without significant risk, the government can begin to leverage these technologies to make incremental, yet impactful, changes. It is simply the next evolution of government I.T. systems.
Here are just 4 of the ways A.I. can improve government today:
- Better citizen engagement: From chatbots to natural language processing and more, A.I. solutions can help agencies more accurately respond to calls, review and complete forms, and provide better services to citizens.
- Increased prediction and responsiveness: With A.I. government can process greater quantities of data, update prediction models more rapidly, and get to mission critical answers with more accuracy. This can include detecting fraud, preventing cyber attacks, and responding faster to natural disasters.
- Helping public sector servants do more with less: Government is bloated with processes. Many of these people heavy processes take hours of effort and unnecessary resources — like scheduling meetings and gaining approvals from proper authorities – A.I. can help agencies focus on more impactful activities.
- The future of Data Centers — Government can find operational efficiencies for high-performance computing environments. A.I. can improve energy consumption, support capacity planning, as well as improve overall health of backend systems.
Things government can do today.
By partnering with the private sector, there are things that agencies can begin doing immediately to move forward with A.I. By understanding these, private sector can also help steer government in the right direction. Here are three things for the government to consider:
- Innovation does not have to be a large ‘project’ — There are several ‘innovation’ programs underway in the government. The role Chief Innovation Officer is on the rise. However, agencies do not have to soley rely on these major program or effort to move forward. Agencies can take small incremental steps that have high impact. This begins with identifying smaller, less critical projects to start with and expanding from there. By engaging with government, private sector can help identify some of the lowest hanging fruit.
- Realize status quo is just as risky — Issuing contracts to known contactors is often seen as lower risk; however, agencies may find themselves with over inflated multi-million dollar contracts for projects that won’t ultimately work. Doing nothing does not move us ahead either. By leveraging proof-of-concepts with emerging technology firms, agencies can test hyper-focused solutions and get to the right answer faster. Private sector can help government by creating well-defined and simple proof-of-concept processes.
- Get out of the office — Government can be a bubble. Public sector servants that touch technology should go to conferences, see technology showcases, and get involved with organizations like Dcode42 to see the best and most impactful technologies hitting the market. Innovation doesn’t happen in a cube. Private sector can invite and encourage government stakeholders to attend informational events.
In order speed and support the government in this adoption, Dcode42 and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are joining forces to address this challenge and drive A.I. companies and technology into government to solve real problems.
We need the Tech industry to lean in to the government.
As we wrote about in our blog, How to Affect GovTech in Uncertain Times, it is now more important than ever for the tech industry to put an eye towards government. Regardless of political views or who is in the White House, citizens still need great services and government needs better tools. Some might argue that American prosperity depends on it. Private sector can influence the inner workings of government to keep us moving forward in the right direction.
Accelerating A.I. and Machine Learning into Government
Dcode42 provides emerging technology companies with everything they need to succeed in the federal market through our comprehensive accelerator programs. We recently announced our newest cohort that focuses on delivering the most promising A.I. and machine learning tools to the government. This time, we are teaming with Amazon Web Services because of the incredible tools, resources, networks, and insights AWS, both as a technology platform and as a company, provide.
By bringing together Dcode42 and AWS, we offer a powerful launching pad for technology companies of all sizes to succeed quickly. Companies accepted into this three-month program receive concentrated guidance and support on crucial aspects of entering the federal market, including:
- Classes with renowned industry Subject Matter Experts on how to succeed in government — from marketing and sales, to compliance, procurement, pricing and more.
- In-depth, exclusive briefings with key government buyers and industry leaders.
- Access to industry specialist and mentors for expert guidance and networking connections.
- Exposure and demos to an extensive partner network of large and small partners to increase revenue opportunities.
- Hands on strategic-planning and go-to-market support to maximize your resources.
Along with the robust programing that Dcode42 companies receive, this particular cohort will have the opportunity to work exclusively with AWS public sector teams to further speed up their time to market. Companies leave the program with very tactical strategic plans, close integration with AWS teams, and, in many cases, immediate opportunities for revenue.
Who Should Apply
The program has two tracks for companies of different sizes: the startups track, for companies with under $14M in revenue and/or funding, and the emerging growth track, for companies with $14–150M in revenue and/or funding. Our program is designed for companies with either:
- Some traction in the federal market, but are still in earlier stages of standing up their government practice. These companies may have a few contracts or a dedicated Federal team with prior experience, or
- Companies completely new to the Federal government looking to get to success more quickly and not sure the best approach to take.