GSA launches new AI, Virtual Reality, and Authentication Programs

Oct 26, 2016

Today we’re launching three new initiatives powered by GSA Digital Communities that leap federal agencies ahead on some of the most innovative new capabilities becoming available to our programs — Artificial Intelligence, Virtual/Augmented Reality, and the U.S. Digital Registry.

These new Communities and portal are products of inter-agency collaboration and our shared commitment pushing the bar forward on effective adoption of digital public services that meet the needs of citizens today and tomorrow… and plant seeds for growing long into the future.

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 educations services for citizens with vision impairments.

Artificial Intelligence for Citizen Services Community

Next generation digital public services powered by government data and new advances in artificial intelligence, including chatbots, can help improve and expand our customer service initiatives, and make our public services more open, responsive, informative, and accessible.

Whether helping field tens of thousands of questions during an emergency, or democratizing data through devices powered by Alexa, Siri, and other natural voice recognition systems, citizen engagement will quickly expand from social media and other peer-to-peer services into increasingly personalized, automated delivery. Since our first workshop exploring potential business cases, the demand from agencies to learn more and develop their own pilots has been strong and growing.

The Federal AI for Citizen Services Community will empower members from agencies to collaboratively research, evaluate, and test the latest advancements, while sharing best practices on approaching emerging policy, security, and privacy considerations.

Virtual/Augmented Reality Community

For the first time, immersive enhanced audio and visual experiences through virtual and augmented reality are available to many U.S. citizens through smartphones and other mobile devices, opening the door to an incredible diversity of new programs and services.

We recently hosted a workshop for federal agencies and industry specialists who demoed the latest technologies available, and our brainstorming on the immediate practice applications for these services produced exciting results. Federal agencies are eager to share their ideas for how to use this new medium, from treatment of PTSD through virtual therapy and educating farmers on the installation of solar panels, to disaster management preparedness and response.

The Federal Virtual/Augmented Reality Community will serve as a collaborative hub to research and refine these business cases and analyze pilot programs, while ensuring that the best information available to one of us is readily available to all of us.

Open Authentication of Platforms on the U.S. Digital Registry Portal

Federal agencies across government use platforms and mobile apps to manage their citizen services, whether sharing open source code on GitHub, open data through Socrata, customer reviews on Yelp, videos on YouTube, or profiles on Facebook and Twitter. These conversations in turn will help develop new personalized services through Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.

Now, for the first time, anyone can browse and export data by agency, language, platform, or tag on 10,000 (and growing) official U.S. federal government accounts and mobile apps in one dashboard through the new U.S. Digital Registry portal.

The successful creation of the U.S. Digital Registry and it’s use by hundreds of individual federal managers for thousands of accounts relied on the collaborative power of our Digital Communities, which allowed for easy access for individual members no matter where they serve.

So what are Digital Communities?

Whether connecting and collaborating around Mobile Development, Multilingual Services and Citizen Science—or now our newly launched Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality programs—together, Digital Communities are the largest and most productive inter-agency network of transformative federal government managers.

With nearly 10,000 federal memberships across more than a dozen mission fields and growing, we’re constantly looking for new ways to work together to strengthen the knowledge and capabilities of any federal manager interested in using innovative technologies to build the most effective, cost-efficient services.

While designed for U.S. federal managers, we strive to transparently share and collaborate with all who are interested in these services, working together to discover opportunities, identify needs, and develop solutions that elevate programs across public services.

What’s Next

If this is the first you’ve heard about our Digital Communities, we encourage you to visit the homepage and learn more.

If you are a federal employee or contractor working in an official capacity with a .gov or .mil email address, chances are you or someone you know is already a part of this constantly growing collaborative initiative. Either way, we invite you to dive in deeper and enjoy the benefits of these productive, collaborative hubs.

If you’re a civic organization, developer or anyone with an interest in these fields, we welcome you to learn more about our activities and how you may be able to contribute.