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State Names Vendors for GenAI Proofs of Concept Projects

Five vendors have been tapped to explore possible use cases for generative AI across several agencies and priority areas.

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The state has signed an agreement with five vendors to “test, iterate, and evaluate” generative AI (GenAI) with proofs of concept across several agencies.

The partnerships, announced by the Government Operations Agency (GovOps) Thursday, will see technologies from OpenAI, Anthropic, Google, Meta, and other companies tested over six months to evaluate their effectiveness in addressing several priority areas.

The five companies conducting these evaluations include Accenture, Deloitte Consulting, Ignyte Group, INRIX, and SymSoft Solutions.

“We are now at a point where we can begin understanding if GenAI can provide us with viable solutions while supporting the state workforce,” GovOps Secretary Amy Tong said in a press release. “Our job is to learn by testing, and we’ll do this by having a human in the loop at every step so that we’re building confidence in this new technology.”

This represents a significant step toward state adoption of the emerging technology. Late last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order directing further study of GenAI. And in March, new guidelines were set for how the state could procure and implement the tools.

The projects being sandboxed take on some significant topics including how GenAI might be used to protect vulnerable road users; reduce roadway congestion; improve health-care facility inspections; improve language access to state services; and enhance customer service.

Deloitte and INRIX will be working with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to “investigate near misses of injuries/fatalities to identify risky areas and monitor interventions designed to increase [the] safety of vulnerable road users.” Accenture and Deloitte, meanwhile, will be exploring possible use cases for GenAI to address roadway congestion and overall traffic management.

“With an average of 12 Californians dying on our roadways every day, we need to use every tool available to end the roadway crisis and reach our goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2050,” California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin said in the press release.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will be working with Accenture and Ignyte Group to expedite the documentation of health-care facility inspections to “develop a concrete set of outcomes or citations that match state and federal requirements.”

“GenAI helps propel us forward in these efforts by streamlining our oversight processes, making them more efficient and consistent for our highly-qualified surveyors and more beneficial for health facilities and the communities they serve,” CDPH Director Dr. Tomás Aragón said in the release.

The California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) will be working with Accenture to improve benefits and service navigation by expanding language access for Californians who are not fluent in English.

“Our approach at CalHHS is to test these tools in a limited, controlled environment to allow us to choose those that advance a Healthy California for All and scale them appropriately so that historically marginalized communities that use safety-net programs are not only included but first to benefit,” said CalHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in the release.

Ignyte Group and SymSoft Solutions will partner with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to enhance customer experience navigating business tax requirements via telephone and live chat.

“Generative AI has the potential to enhance services for taxpayers and complement the efforts of our customer service agents,” CDTFA Director Nick Maduros said in the release. “We are always looking for innovative ways to improve service to our taxpayers.”

The next step of this initiative will include testing in an isolated environment or sandboxing owned by the California Department of Technology (CDT). Final assessments will be conducted by the Office of Data and Innovation (ODI) to “ensure a human-centered design approach, combined with research-backed insights and high-level evaluation metrics to help inform the state’s prospective GenAI solutions.”
Eyragon is the Managing Editor for Industry Insider — California. He previously served as the Daily News Editor for Government Technology. He lives in Sacramento, Calif.