How will the role of artificial intelligence affect local, state governments?

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What if a chatbot could instantly give you instructions on how to get a specific permit? What if council meeting minutes could be posted in minutes? What if your wait time at the DMV was cut in half?

Here are some ways artificial intelligence is being used in state and local government.

AI was the topic of a major conference in Annapolis on Tuesday morning, hosted by the University of Baltimore.

This is a complex issue.

“Why do seemingly simple jobs take longer if they're far from important,” said Burke Attila, director of general services in Baltimore City.

But, these problems can be solved in a few minutes.

“I should consider reallocating my resources, increasing staffing, maybe improving processes,” Attila said.

Using artificial intelligence, Atilla created a plan to make the department more efficient, which he says would normally take months and multiple analysts to do.

“And he gave me a data visualization to add to my memo if I wanted,” Attila said.

This was one of the many uses of artificial intelligence discussed at the William Donald Shaffer conference titled, “AI and the Future of Government.”

“You can use it to simulate urban planning scenarios,” said Dylan Hayden, a social science analyst at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Hayden said AI can help with anything from drafting policy documents and analyzing large datasets.

“It can detect patterns and find correlations in unstructured data,” Hayden said.

AI can help by streamlining and automating public services.

“How easy would it be to say, 'Hey, these are my needs, is there a program that fits my needs?' said Rebecca Ofer, NextGen intern at the University of Baltimore.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore's executive order on artificial intelligence laid the groundwork for state government to begin integrating AI into operations.

Nishant Shah is one of the officials with the Maryland Department of Information Technology who has to make sure it's used responsibly.

“Our use of AI must be clearly documented and disclosed,” said Shah, the senior adviser on artificial intelligence responsible for the Maryland Department of IT. “Individual privacy rights are protected by design in our use of AI.”

One of the biggest takeaways from the conference when it comes to integrating AI into business and government is that what we do in the next two years will determine the next dozen.

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