IE11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

AI Meets the Moment

How a pandemic has shaped AI adoption in state government and what it means for the future

For three years, the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and NASCIO, with support from IBM, have queried state chief information officers (CIOs) and other high-level leaders about their perceptions, plans and progress around the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). In 2019, adoption was nascent, but state leaders showed an eagerness to gain efficiencies and free their workforces for higher-value work. They were also cautious due to the lack of data maturity and privacy policies, as well as a dearth of employees with the necessary skills for AI adoption.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Out of necessity to meet huge surges in demand, state governments quickly rolled out chatbots and other digital assistants to handle constituent inquiries around unemployment assistance and other vital services. As predicted, agency leaders found the technology allowed them to better serve more residents with fewer resources and deploy limited staff to deal with more complex activities rather than answer routine questions.

Today, initial resistance to AI solutions in government agencies is waning as leaders and staff witness positive outcomes from pilot projects and pandemic-related implementations. But they are working to wrap their arms around enterprise-wide strategies for greater adoption and continue to face challenges around skills gaps and legacy technologies. Data quality and governance, privacy and compliance are all concerns and there is a lack of clear policies as technology evolves.

Still, the momentum is strong, and optimism is high for widespread adoption. Nearly 60 percent of our survey respondents said they see transformation happening in one to three years — particularly in call centers, to enhance cybersecurity, and in areas like health and human services.

Read the full study to learn what CIOs and agency leaders across the country shared about their experiences during an incredibly challenging era.

For any questions or requests contact your IBM Representative today.

Restlessly reinventing since 1911, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has decades of experience strategically partnering with leading government organizations all over the globe, to help them build innovative technology solutions that accelerate the digital transformation of government.