How Virginia Plans to Spread AI Across State Agencies
Jonathan Ozovek, VITA’s COO, tells StateScoop the agency is offering the AI-based tools to state agencies in the health, transportation and public safety realms. VITA also plans to use the tools internally.
The AI offering will include end-to-end cybersecurity and performance monitoring, according to Ozovek. If agencies VITA is speaking with accept they will be deployed next year, he says.
The AI capabilities that will be offered include image recognition and fraud detection. However, VITA will need to work with state agencies to train employees on using the tools, so it seems adoption could be gradual.
“We’re going to scope it by use case so we don’t boil the ocean, so we give some kind of standardized input and output,” Ozovek tells StateScoop. “But once we do that upfront analysis, we’re very upfront with the customer, similar to the RPA as a Service construct, and we say, ‘these are the areas of opportunity in your environment,’ and we even give them advice to say, ‘your data needs to be cleansed before we can even do anything.’”
The NASCIO/CDG/IB survey indicated that state agencies plan to expand their use of AI over time. According to the survey, just over half (56 percent) believe AI can transform their organizations in one to three years, and just under a quarter (23 percent) believe it can happen right away.
However, a lack of skilled staff, legacy modernization challenges, difficulty in identifying use cases and a lack of data or poor data quality are all obstacles to adoption, the survey found.
To overcome such challenges, the survey’s report advises states to “organize, standardize and format their data to make it readily digestible by AI algorithms.” IT leaders should also identify AI success stories they can point to in an effort to bring employees along.
Deploying AI requires policies that help IT leaders balance agencies’ demands with IT departments’ supply of people, Pennsylvania CIO John MacMillan notes in the report. “When the application of the technology needs prioritization, we’re ready to flex and meet that demand,” he says.