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State leaders see generative AI’s potential to bring positive impacts on the mission

More than half of state CIOs named generative AI as a technology they believe will have the greatest impact on state government, according to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers in its just-released annual survey.

NASCIO released these findings in conjunction with its annual conference, where the topic of generative AI was described as a game-changing technology, according to Google Public Sector Director for SLED East, Mike Williams. 

“I would say because of the confusion and the concern [surrounding generative AI], it is definitely something that folks are very cautious about, but the benefits associated with being able to improve access to government and information and to solve problems…is a way to accelerate services,” Williams told StateScoop’s editor-in-chief, Jake Williams in an interview.

He cited several examples of states’ use of AI-enabled tools to deliver better services, including how New York State improved constituent services with an AI-enabled contact center in New York State and the way Wisconsin was able to clear a backlog of unemployment claims. He also pointed to how large organizations like the Department of Health and Human Services have been able to automate mundane, repetitive tasks around data entry.

He also suggested agency leaders to consider integrating generative AI capabilities as part of big lift-and-shift migrations and to improve security operations.

“Security needs to be embedded into the fabric of every project that is taken on within the public sector and make sure there’s a plan to support cyber as an embedded component,” he explained. As long as states can plug generative AI into an ethical framework, Williams said they can have the opportunity to augment the security capabilities of their organization.

Williams noted two other key trends he heard on the ground at NASCIO — modernizing legacy systems and improving cybersecurity. But because of limited budgets, leaders are looking for ways to achieve these outcomes in “incremental ways” he said.

“A lot of folks are interested in accelerating outcomes, but one of their biggest challenges is the procurement process. So folks are looking for ways to be able to build more agility into the procurement process, so that it can support rapid innovation.”

Watch the full interview and learn more about how generative AI can help your agency improve mission outcomes.

Also, you can hear more from other state and federal government leaders on their AI and Security initiatives.