In an era in which artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping industries, the federal government is not standing by the sidelines. Dozens of federal agencies are actively implementing hundreds of AI use cases. To ensure the technology is being used safely and effectively, each federal agency is required to track and make public how they’re using AI. Those use cases have been published on www.ai.gov.
The potential for AI to inspire applications in other areas is substantial. From procurement to quality control, AI is not just a futuristic concept – it’s a current tool that’s reshaping how the federal government functions, providing safer, more efficient and more responsive services to the public.
Department of State automates federal procurement data system (FPDS)
Within the State Department, the Bureau of Administration, Office of Logistics Management and Office of the Procurement Executive have collaborated on an AI-driven leap in federal efficiency – the FPDS Auto-Populate Bot.
The bot uses an AI technology known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in which software bots perform automated, structured, rule-based tasks across various applications without altering existing IT infrastructure, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing errors. The bots handle routine tasks such as data entry, processing transactions and managing communications automatically, allowing employees to focus on complex tasks.
The bot is currently processing around 300 updates weekly. It also actively mitigates DATA Act compliance issues and curbs negligence in data updates. The potential for RPA extends across federal agencies, promising to revamp administrative tasks governmentwide.
U.S. Mint to Implement a Coin-Quality Tracking System
The U.S. Mint is exploring AI to improve its coin-quality inspection process. The current system aims to replace manual inspection with an AI system that can discern defects among manufactured coins with unmatched accuracy. The system will improve quality control and reduce waste.
The coin-quality tracking system relies on computer vision (CV), a field of artificial intelligence that enables computers to interpret and understand the visual world. It uses algorithms to recognize patterns, analyze images and make decisions based on visual data.
CV could greatly enhance not only the quality-control processes in currency production but also any federal agency whose tasks demand rigorous visual scrutiny, including analyzing satellite photos, video footage and still images.
Department of Education Sees Success with AI Aidan
Aidan, the conversational AI chatbot from the Federal Student Aid office, has served over 2.6 million users in more than two years. The chatbot utilizes Natural Language Processing (NLP), a subset of AI that equips computers with the ability to understand, interpret and respond to human language in a way that is both meaningful and useful. Aidan navigates financial aid queries on StudentAid.gov by effectively communicating with users about a myriad of questions and concerns, including login issues, repayment plans, student loan forgiveness and FAFSA applications.
Aidan’s success demonstrates the potential of conversational AI for any federal agency that has a customer service component. As NLP technologies improve, uses could include interpretation and translation, policy and proposal analyses, training simulations and even life-saving emergency communications.
The images in each section of this story were generated using AI.