Sharing Public Service Visions for Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence

Nov 30, 2016

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 educations 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 NASA 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 USAID 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.