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AI Agency predictions

AI Agency Predictions

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a powerful tool for federal agencies in handling the overwhelming number of comments they receive on proposed rules. With an average of 3,700 proposed rules each year, agencies often struggle to review and analyze the comments effectively. However, AI, particularly natural language processing (NLP), is proving to be a game-changer in this process.

The Power of AI in Comment Analysis

Federal agencies rely on public comments to gather feedback and gauge public opinion on proposed rules. However, the sheer volume of comments makes it challenging for agencies to manually review and categorize them. This is where AI comes in. By using NLP, federal workers can quickly comb through thousands of comments, identify common themes, and determine if there are orchestrated campaigns behind some of the comments.

The Government Accountability Office conducted a study in 2021 and found that a significant percentage of comments had email addresses attached to them that did not correspond to the actual commenters. This suggests the presence of fabricated comments. AI can help agencies identify and filter out these suspect comments, saving them weeks or even months of manual review.

Take the Environmental Protection Agency as an example. Since 2013, Abt, an AI agency, has reviewed over 1.4 million comments for the annual Renewable Fuel Standard program using NLP. This has allowed agency staff to develop robust responses and rapidly identify potential issues in proposed rules.

AI’s Impact Beyond Comment Analysis

Abt has been at the forefront of AI development, with over 40 AI projects in the last five years. These projects have not only helped federal agencies in reviewing comments but also transformed public services, making them more effective and efficient.

One area where AI has made a significant impact is in predicting PFAS blood levels and delays in nursing care. By leveraging predictive analytics, AI can analyze data and provide accurate predictions, enabling agencies to allocate resources effectively and address potential issues proactively.

Another way AI has improved workflows is through automating contract quality control and processing. By streamlining these tasks, AI helps agencies save time and resources, allowing them to focus on more critical aspects of their work.

Using AI Responsibly

While AI has immense potential, it must be used carefully and responsibly. The underlying data that AI relies on may contain biases or inaccuracies, leading to unfavorable outcomes. To mitigate this risk, Abt has implemented strict guidelines and guardrails around their use of AI.

One important aspect is ensuring equity in AI projects. Abt includes key stakeholders in the design, implementation, and evaluation of AI projects to consider the implications for equity and any impact on communities and individuals. This ensures that AI tools are developed with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse needs and concerns of the population they serve.

Quality control is another crucial consideration. Abt’s subject-matter experts and computer scientists collaborate to produce AI tools that combine cutting-edge technology with a nuanced understanding of their clients’ needs. This approach ensures that the AI solutions provided are of high quality and tailored to the specific challenges and solutions at hand.

AI’s Future and Abt’s Role

The future of AI is uncertain, but it is clear that its impact will continue to grow. Abt recognizes the potential of AI to reduce work burdens and find innovative solutions for their clients. They have demonstrated this through their work in various sectors, from health to housing.

AI comes in various forms, such as NLP, predictive analytics, and generative AI. Each has its own unique capabilities and applications. As AI continues to evolve, Abt remains committed to providing pragmatic and safe solutions to help public sector organizations achieve their goals.

In conclusion, AI is revolutionizing the way federal agencies handle public comments on proposed rules. With its ability to quickly analyze and categorize comments, AI saves time and resources, allowing agencies to make informed decisions. However, it is crucial to use AI responsibly and mitigate any biases or inaccuracies in the underlying data. Abt’s expertise in AI ensures that their clients receive high-quality and tailored solutions. As AI continues to advance, Abt remains at the forefront, helping their clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of AI technology.

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The future of #wfh & distance learning

AI, VR, AR, MR at work and school


These new technologies will play a material role in helping teams work together. Today, AI is playing an interesting role in conferencing and call center applications performing duties like transcription and providing sentiment analysis, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Stowe Boyd recently wrote a great article, “The Fall of The Silos, The Rise of Self-Organizing Teams”. In the article, he states “The 2020 workplace will be more productive and engaging for workers and employers thanks to new technology that enables better personalization and adaptation to change, according to a recent ADP report. ADP posits that: isolated, siloed approaches to getting work done will be supplanted by teamwork; that the work experience will be personalized through artificial intelligence and other technologies, which provide employees with a “have it your way” work experience; and businesses and teams will become more agile as they strive to keep pace with technology.”

I have found a few examples of commercial offerings that support at least the beginnings of what Stowe writes, out in the wild.

Testfire Labs, a small upstart in Edmonton has created Hendrix.ai, a service that offers AI-driven transcription services that anyone can invite to any calendar event.

Salesforce is also making use of AI in a new service that has been recently launched at Dreamforce 2019 called Einstein Voice Assistant, part of their Einstein Voice offering.

According to VentureBeat, Einstein Voice Assistant is more than just a glorified transcriber. Users can update Salesforce records and create tasks using natural language requests, or tap Einstein Vice Assistant to navigate through Einstein Analytics dashboards and surface metrics like open service cases and performance guidance. Plus, thanks to native integration with popular voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa, Einstein Voice Assistant can deliver a daily brief of “key priorities” like upcoming calendar appointments and team pipeline updates.

Dialpad has also rolled out “VoiceAI” providing transcriptions and sentiment analysis, mainly for contact center calls.

Cisco is empowering it’s WebEx Assistant with more capabilities via their acquisition of Accompany. Cisco described a scenario to show how AI and the smart use of data can help Webex improve on conference calls:

When an employee walks into a meeting room, she is automatically recognized by the system, which reads her calendar, spots a scheduled meeting and asks if she wants to join it. The worker says no, she needs to call someone else first and gives her colleague’s first name only. Webex guesses who she’s trying to call, using data and AI software to cut the number of options for whom to dial.

VR at work and in the classroom

You can be sure remote work will continue to evolve as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technology becomes more accessible and less cumbersome. AR and VR applications already enable team members to work alongside each other in the same coworking VR room but in fact, are separated by thousands of kilometers.

Dataview VR — The Glimpse Group

An early example of this is Dataview VR (video), and Social VR (video), products created by The Glimpse Group, which are very interesting preliminary steps towards an immersive virtual office experience.

Matt Mullenweg (Founder of Automattic), had an interesting chat with John Vechey of Pluto VR about how VR will become the conduit for virtual coworking. Here is the video promoting the alpha release of Pluto VR on Steam, a promising future indeed.

Immersed VR also recently released a VR Coworking application, which I will be checking out soon.

We at Immersed are announcing the newest addition to our multi-monitor VR app, Virtual Co-Working. Remote professionals can now work in a virtual coffee shop (and other virtual co-working spaces) with thousands of other remote workers all around the world!

Immersed — VR Coworking

If we are going to talk about VR (Or MR — Mixed Reality), we can’t exclude Microsoft and Hololens. Now 4 years old, Hololens is targeting business applications as a core focus of the offering. Last year they made a bold statement about fixing Video Conferencing and referenced Hololens. This year, they demonstrated Hololens 2 (MWC 2019) business applications such as mechanical repair, medical training, and digital media creation. The most compelling demonstration was on a holomeeting concept, where 2 participants we interacting with and discussing a 3D object, although this capability is not available yet.

Hololens 2 — holomeeting demo

Another interesting example of MR (Mixed Reality) at work that is available today is Help Lightning. Check out their intro video below where they show a remote field technician helping an onsite technician troubleshoot an installation, very interesting real-world application:

[vimeo 259194214 w=640 h=360]

MeetinVR gets a mention here, I could not find anything on their offer but I did sign up for their early access program.

We have a ways to go to where the VR experience feels natural in a virtual office and classroom setting. Headsets need to be much smaller, lighter and more akin to AR glasses versus the VR welding goggles we see today. I am sure we’ll get there.

Until then, we have plenty of remote work and work from home tools to draw from to get the job done, which are getting better each and every day.


Please share your thoughts with us. Is your company pursuing remote work? If you work in a distributed company now, what tools do you use today, are they working for you? How often do you use video/web conferencing as part of your daily routine? If you prefer sharing your comments or questions privately, feel free to send me a text message: (877) 897–1952 (powered by SignalWire)

None of the ideas expressed in this post are shared, supported, or endorsed in any manner by my employer.

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