Urban science becomes a major, Airbnb gets into disaster recovery, and more governments turn to the gig economy— This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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After a two-week sabbatical, the Top 10 reads from a Chief Innovation Officer are back! 🔮

Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

🚙 Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities http://bit.ly/2M93RIo (H/T Rob Lloyd)

👉 More Governments Turning to Gig Economy for Help http://bit.ly/2LGHQAo

💡 Economies can’t ignore human needs if they want to benefit from automation http://bit.ly/2sLDOy2

📹 DJI is partnering with Axon to sell video-capable drones directly to cops http://bit.ly/2JjcWMN

📱 Apple’s Plans to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Your Phone http://bit.ly/2JqluSo

💼 Cities’ Role in the Future of the Workforce http://bit.ly/2sEIJl4

🎓 Urban Science major at MIT: combining urban planning and computer science. We will see more and more of these programs. https://t.co/GI7Sgw0dmm (H/T Nader Afzalan)

🤖 Robots that repair roads in just a minute could fix Britain’s pothole problem http://bit.ly/2Mni0Bc

📑 Jane.ai raises $8.4 million for an enterprise chatbot that can search through emails, files, and more http://bit.ly/2JEW8jE

⚠️ Airbnb Is Testing a New Service To Improve Emergency Preparedness https://for.tn/2t3dcsH

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🚙 Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities http://bit.ly/2M93RIo (H/T Rob Lloyd)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Smart transit is a major focus area for many cities across the globe, and researchers have identified that the connected car ecosystem can also be manipulated, creating new threats to smart cities.

Just one car that’s transmitting fake data can cause enormous traffic jams, and several attack cars could work together to shut down whole areas. What’s particularly concerning is that our research has found the weakness is not in the underlying communication technology, but in the algorithms actually used to manage the traffic flow. (GovTech)

For government agencies, partnerships will need to be built with industry partners to ensure that as smart technologies become more ubiquitous in transit, we find ways to mitigate and prevent algorithmic manipulation.

👉 More Governments Turning to Gig Economy for Help http://bit.ly/2LGHQAo

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: One of the largest challenges in state and local government is centered around the workforce. Agencies are struggling to hire and retain talent with new skillsets to solve the pressing challenges of today and prepare for what’s around the corner. One way agencies are mitigating this issue is to tap into a growing talent pool with the gig economy. Essentially, gig economy workers are contractors (or freelancers) that are hired to perform a given task or one-time job or gig. Companies like Uber and Lyft have made this model a new norm, but research indicates government is also getting into the game — and quickly.

 

For government agencies, this is an important trend to watch because the future of work is increasingly looking less like an 8–5 job, and more like a flexible work arrangement where you hire the right person at the right time to complete a job.

💡 Economies can’t ignore human needs if they want to benefit from automation http://bit.ly/2sLDOy2

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting talk given by Daron Acemoglu at MIT’s EmTech Next conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The core of his message is around the fact that AI will impact the labor market in different ways.

Different technologies affect the labor market in different ways. “Enabling technologies” — which enable workers to be more productive in the tasks they were performing before — increase wages and labor demand, according to Acemoglu. Think of the ways that computer-aided-design (CAD) software helps designers draw with more precision. (MIT Tech Review)

The good news? We have an opportunity to shape it by modernizing our institutions, starting with education.

Modernizing our institutions will enable more people to benefit from technology gains, Acemoglu contends. He is especially focused on overhauling the education system, which he says is one-size-fits-all and hasn’t changed much since the 19th century. (MIT Tech Review)

For government agencies, this is a good reminder to explore ways to use disruptive technologies like AI not as a way to replace people, but as a way to augment people and meet their fundamental human needs.

📹 DJI is partnering with Axon to sell video-capable drones directly to cops http://bit.ly/2JjcWMN

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In a major move in State and Local Government, the popular drone maker, DJI, announced they were partnering with Axon to sell video-capable drones directly to law enforcement agencies. This is a strategic relationship that goes beyond just providing a contract vehicle to DJI because it also enables one of the major players in body-worn cameras a drone partner to develop new use-cases with. For government agencies, this is the beginning of more drone-enabled use-cases like the City of Louisville’s automated drone dispatching pilot, that will revolutionize not just how we capture video, but how we deliver services government.

📱 Apple’s Plans to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Your Phone http://bit.ly/2JqluSo

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In Apple’s recent annual developer’s conference, WWDC, they unveiled Create ML — a new toolset to help developers embed machine learning capabilities into their apps. This is further proof that machine learning and artificial intelligence development will continue to be democratized by platform companies like Apple and Google — requiring less data science expertise. For government agencies, frameworks like this provide a foundation of extending new capabilities into government services without the need for expertise or costly development cycles.

💼 Cities’ Role in the Future of the Workforce http://bit.ly/2sEIJl4

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read by Stephen Goldsmith about the role of cities in the future of work. Goldsmith argues that cities need to embrace their role and modernize their workforce development tools for the future.

City halls and regional economic development organizations have an important role to play in developing jobs and helping workers navigate the uncertainty of the current labor market. However, many of the workforce development tools that have been available to them originated from a social service point of view — how to help unemployed or underemployed individuals. (Goldsmith)

For government agencies, we need to look to examples like Imagine Pittsburgh and New York City’s Talent Pipeline as inspiration to address the increasing skills and work gap that will undeniably change the workforce in the not-to-distant future.

🎓 Urban Science major at MIT: combining urban planning and computer science. We will see more and more of these programs. https://t.co/GI7Sgw0dmm (H/T Nader Afzalan)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The future is moving faster than ever, and many existing ways of educating urban planners (and other city-focused degrees) is no longer as relevant for the era we live in. As a result, MIT recently announced a new degree program that blends computer science and urban planning into a single discipline.

Combining urban planning and public policy, design and visualization, data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, pervasive sensor technology, robotics, and other aspects of both computer science and city planning, the program will reflect how urban scientists are making sense of cities and urban data in ways never before imagined — and using what they learn to reshape the world in real-time. (MIT)

For government agencies, it’s important to note that new disciplines and skills will be required to solve the problems of the future — and this new hybrid degree is something I anticipate other universities to begin to adapt their degree programs as cities evolve with the rise of artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and many other exponential technologies.

🤖 Robots that repair roads in just a minute could fix Britain’s pothole problem http://bit.ly/2Mni0Bc

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In another drone use-case, experts in the United Kingdom believe the future of pothole repairs is by a fleet of autonomous drones that can identify and repair (using 3D printing) potholes in a matter of minutes — and all while you sleep. It may sound like science fiction by the robots are scheduled to be tested on Leeds roadways in the next couple years as part of a 5-year plan between UCL and Leeds University. For government agencies, it will be important to follow and collaborate with pilots like these in order to better optimize government service delivery in the future.

📑 Jane.ai raises $8.4 million for an enterprise chatbot that can search through emails, files, and more http://bit.ly/2JEW8jE

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: There are countless AI startups that are impacting every industry across the world — but Jane.ai caught my attention as one that could help government agencies solve the digital paper overload. Using AI to catalog the backend information architecture and a conversational interface on the front-end, you can query complex volumes of information just like you were texting a co-worker for them to send it to you. The lesson here for government agencies is that although Jane.ai is not specifically targeting government as a customer, there is an adjacent application that has the ability to solve a major public sector problem. There are many other adjacent applications that also have potential in government so don’t be afraid to help companies understand the value of working with the public sector by being a pilot or proof of concept of a new technology or services.

⚠️ Airbnb Is Testing a New Service To Improve Emergency Preparedness https://for.tn/2t3dcsH

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Airbnb was once a company that cities fought to prevent short-term rentals but it’s now solidified it’s place as a valuable economic partner. One of the byproducts of Airbnb’s network is that it can also serve as a pre-mapped network of available properties and rooms during an emergency situation. The program is called Open Homes — and is a way for existing Airbnb host to offer up their space for free to people most in need in disaster situations.

Through Open Homes, hosts have already offered temporary housing to over 11,000 people displaced by natural disasters, conflict, or illness. Your extra space can turn into a meaningful experience, not just for someone in need, but also for your community, family, and self. (Airbnb Website)

For government agencies, this is a great pre-mapped infrastructure that can be leveraged during disaster situations — and agencies should look for opportunities to work with Airbnb to partner to make it more advance for emergency situations.

Read the full Article on Medium.

The rise of digital license plates, catching biased algorithms and unpacking the 2018 Internet Trends - This Week's Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

 

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

👀 In China, Alibaba’s data-hungry AI is controlling (and watching) cities http://bit.ly/2LGocV3

🔮 Here’s Mary Meeker’s essential 2018 Internet Trends report https://tcrn.ch/2Jg0P6F

🏗 What needs fixing in U.S. cities? Ask the mayors http://bit.ly/2LkMSS7(H/T Bill Schrier)

📚 Connecting data to residents through data storytelling http://bit.ly/2H12980

🚗 Automakers Are Making Car Ownership Optional http://bit.ly/2IO2nVY

🛰 This Maker Of Tiny Satellites Is Disrupting The Space-Industrial Complex http://bit.ly/2L4N5Jd

🤑 California debuts ‘digital’ license plates. Here’s what they’ll cost you. http://bit.ly/2LCz9qR

🚔 If you’re stopped by the NYPD an officer will now give you a business card in case you want the bodycam footage https://cnn.it/2xiTMFr

👉 Designing People-Friendly Software http://bit.ly/2Jl9u7X

💡 Microsoft is creating an oracle for catching biased AI algorithms http://bit.ly/2LJX87D

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

👀 In China, Alibaba’s data-hungry AI is controlling (and watching) cities http://bit.ly/2LGocV3

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, is expanding an artificial intelligence software pilot from Hangzhou, China to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Alibaba calls the project City Brain — and its goal is to leverage Alibaba’s robust cloud infrastructure to connect disparate data sets to be a basis of informed (and sometimes automated) decisions.

City Brain makes live traffic predictions, optimizes traffic flow, and detects traffic incidents using data from video footage, traffic bureaus, public transportation systems, and mapping apps. When integrated with other urban management systems, the platform can automate emergency dispatching and help emergency vehicles find the quickest routes. Over time, City Brain can also learn traffic patterns and make more sophisticated recommendations to improve traffic efficiency, like the best ways to plan new roads, or change bus routes. (Quartz)

For government agencies, expect to see more cloud vendors like Google, Amazon, and IBM begin to optimize and package their capabilities for government-specific use-cases. One thing to keep in mind is that the rise of third-party capabilities will also create some challenges (or perceived conflicts) with data privacy, utilization, and ownership that agencies will need to deal with upfront by having transparent and easy-to-understand data policies.

🔮 Here’s Mary Meeker’s essential 2018 Internet Trends report https://tcrn.ch/2Jg0P6F

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: One of my favorite reports each year is the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins, and the latest version was released this week for your reading pleasure. After reviewing the report, here are a few stats and trends that stood out:

  • What privacy? — 25% of American’s are willing to share sensitive information (driving records, financial, etc.) in exchange for benefits (i.e., lower cost, personalization, etc.).
  • Voice becomes more normal — Amazon Alexa’s install base went up 10 million in one year, meaning roughly 30 million homes have an Alexa — and now there are also over 30,000 unique skillsets that can be used through an Alexa.
  • The technology market is booming — Private and public investments in U.S. technology companies is at a 20-year high.
  • Changing definition of work — The number of freelancers grew 8.1% since 2014 and the total workforce only grew 2.5% — showing a clear shift in direction.

For government agencies, this is a helpful read to keep up with the bigger picture of the technology and behavior trends reshaping society. You can download the full 294-page report here.

🏗 What needs fixing in U.S. cities? Ask the mayors http://bit.ly/2LkMSS7 (H/T Bill Schrier)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In their annual State of the Cities report, the National League of Cities deconstructed 160 State of the City addresses by U.S. mayors to determine what issues are important to city leaders across the country. Out of that analysis, here are the top 10 issues compiled by Brooks Rainwater of NLC —

  1. Economic Development (Mentioned in 58% of speeches)

2. Infrastructure (Mentioned in 56% of speeches)

3. Budgets & Management (Mentioned in 49% of speeches)

4. Housing (Mentioned in 39% of speeches)

5. Public Safety (Mentioned in 36% of speeches)

6. Health & Human Services (Mentioned in 34% of speeches)

7. Education (Mentioned in 28% of speeches)

8. Energy & Environment (Mentioned in 25% of speeches)

9. Data & Technology (Mentioned in 14% of speeches)

10. Demographics (Mentioned in 12% of speeches)

For government agencies, it’s important to remember that the work you do is grounded not just in your agency’s inherent purpose but in the vision and direction of your leadership. Understanding the bigger picture issues through the lens of city leadership is critical for employees and also for gov tech companies looking to help agencies navigate and solve these challenges going forward.

If you’re interested in learning more:

📚 Connecting data to residents through data storytelling http://bit.ly/2H12980

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read from William Eggers and his co-author regarding how to connect data to residents with storytelling. Often times many agencies will put information online in its raw form — but for most citizens, there is little context to understand or work with the data. This is a challenge many open data portals face because the presented data is not consumable by constituents or government. So how do we solve this problem ? By telling stories with data. For government agencies, here are four tips outlined in the article for doing just that.

  1. Show, Don’t Just Tell — Use visuals to paint a story that can be understood by everyone.
  2. Pick a High Impact Problem — Focus on uses data to raise awareness of things people care about. For example: Knowing the location of all the fire hydrants in the city isn’t one of them (unless you’re a firefighter).
  3. Share How Data Drives Decision Making — Provide a feedback loop that uses data to inform the public why decisions are made.
  4. Make Storytelling a Two-Way Street — Don’t just publish data stories, provide a vehicle for the public to engage (participate) with data without being a data expert.

Read the full article at http://bit.ly/2H12980

🚗 Automakers Are Making Car Ownership Optional http://bit.ly/2IO2nVY

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This read reiterated some of the changes to car-ownership. Even in the Mary Meeker Internet Trends report from above (Page 130), it’s evident that in certain markets people are forgoing traditional car ownership for ridesharing, carpooling, or car subscriptions. For government agencies, this is an important trend to continue to follow as car subscriptions change the revenue model for government significantly (i.e., missing out on the large upfront sales tax payment at the time of sale, less public parking revenues, etc.). These trends also lay the perfect foundation for the rise of autonomous vehicles which will lower the price of transit significantly.

🛰 This Maker Of Tiny Satellites Is Disrupting The Space-Industrial Complex http://bit.ly/2L4N5Jd

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Cube Satellites, or CubeSats, are disrupting the traditional space industrial complex and the startup Planet Labs is leading the pack with a low-cost satellite imagery system.

The three-ton Solar Dynamics Observatory, launched in 2010, sported a cost of $850 million. A current Planet Labs satellite, the size of a shoebox, costs a few thousand dollars. Yet it produces better images than satellites the size of a compact car. (Forbes)

Space imagery was always incredibly expensive because it required hundreds of millions of dollars worth of space infrastructure to facilitate, but with the democratization of launching satellites into low-earth orbit and the decreasing cost of core-infrastructure (CubeSats cost only a few thousand dollars), a new space race is beginning. For government agencies, this means that you might license better imagery from a startup with a CubeSat then the traditional proprietary incumbents. The disruption doesn’t stop with imagery as companies like SpaceX are working on enabling a global Internet using the same approach the Planet Labs used for imagery.

🤑 California debuts ‘digital’ license plates. Here’s what they’ll cost you. http://bit.ly/2LCz9qR

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The State of California has been working to launch digital license plates for some time, but recently Sacramento announced it would be the first city in the state to run a pilot of digital license plates — enabling users to register vehicles that receive digital renewal stickers automatically. The upfront cost will be $699 with a monthly fee of $7. The city is working with Riviver Auto on the pilot and will be testing on city vehicles to start. It’s important to note that not everyone is a fan of the new pilot as some have raised privacy concerns as well as challenges to the use of ads when vehicles are stopped. For government agencies, it’s important to remember that the vehicle is increasingly becoming where smart cities and people meet — so it’s natural to see pilots on all forms of transportation tech, including the license plate. I’ll be following this pilot to see how the city (and state) ultimately balance privacy with user convenience.

🚔 If you’re stopped by the NYPD an officer will now give you a business card in case you want the bodycam footage https://cnn.it/2xiTMFr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting read how NYPD officers will now hand out business cards to make it easier for the public to request body camera footage after ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ interactions with police that don’t lead to an arrest.

The cards contain the name of the officer, along with their rank and shield number. If you want to obtain the officer’s body camera footage of the stop, the card directs you to an NYPD website which walks you through how to file a request for the footage under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. (CNN).

There are opposing viewpoints of this new law and procedures effectiveness — including some that think it will lead to every police interaction being challenged. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. For government agencies, this is an example of some of the new types of regulations that will have to be applied to smart city technology bringing transparency to public data (even offline interactions) in new ways.

👉 Designing People-Friendly Software http://bit.ly/2Jl9u7X

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Human-centered design is something that private companies have used to design habit-forming products for some time, but it’s finding a new home in the public sector.

What the private sector discovered was that problems involving customers and how they experience a product or service can be improved through a process called human-centered design. By obsessively focusing on understanding the perspective of the person who experiences a problem, companies can figure out whether or not a solution is meeting their needs effectively or not, according to DC Design, a social impact design firm. (GovTech)

For government agencies, it’s natural to try to design solutions to problems — but we need to take a few additional steps back to look at and understand who our customer is. By understanding your customer and the gaps in how they access your services, you can better define and solve problems based on your end-users experience. For agencies interested in learning more about how to deploy human-centered design, I created a Government Experience Model and Framework that can be used as inspiration to start.

💡 Microsoft is creating an oracle for catching biased AI algorithms http://bit.ly/2LJX87D

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: One of the growing concerns of the increased utilization of Artificial Intelligence in government is the rise of algorithmic bias — and ultimately, how government combats it. Essentially, that means that the human bias we exhibit also becomes embedded into new systems through our algorithms because it was accidentally programmed or learned from previous bias through machine learning. This becomes even more important as AI is being tested in a variety of new use-cases such as recommending bail amounts for defendants. For government agencies, if you’re using AI inside your agency make sure you have a system and process to check and respond to algorithmic bias.

Read the full article on Medium.

Your current car is smarter than you think, blockchains that can talk to one another, and why AI isn’t the death of jobs— This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🚙 The AI in your non-autonomous car https://tcrn.ch/2Lxe8hf

👋 How to get blockchains to talk to each other http://bit.ly/2xd4pJN

📱Starbucks’s mobile payments system is so popular in the U.S., it has more users than Apple’s or Google’s http://bit.ly/2GER38R

🏙 Startup in Residence Aims to Expand to 100 Cities, Announces Newest Local Government Projects http://bit.ly/2s6zwC3

⚡️ Companies are using California homes as batteries to power the grid http://bit.ly/2Jd44vH

🔮 It’s Never Too Early To Think About 6G http://bit.ly/2ITWfaQ

🚕 MIT’s Super-Efficient Dispatching Algorithm Minimizes a City’s Taxi Fleet http://bit.ly/2s9Rm6O

💼 Do Entrepreneurs Need a Strategy? http://bit.ly/2FFXt74

🔎 Anderson County, Texas, gets its first cyberdetective, thanks to a federal training program http://bit.ly/2kvcJvv

📈 Why AI Isn’t the Death of Jobs http://bit.ly/2L26Gd1

📹 BONUS — This past week I also had the opportunity to keynote the Los Angles Quality & Productivity Commission Annual Leadership meeting — thanks to their amazing A/V team, you can watch my remarks on the future of work and what it means for government.

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🚙 The AI in your non-autonomous car https://tcrn.ch/2Lxe8hf

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a good read that provided a look at how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a place in the car beyond self-driving capabilities. In fact, many vehicles today use some form of intelligent decision-making seen through automated braking, collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control and more. These intelligent decisions are based on a series of algorithmic triggers (i.e., a car in front of you slams on their brakes). The key takeaway from this piece for government agencies is that the connected cars of today are also intelligent cars — even though they don’t have fully autonomous capabilities. These AI systems will also challenge existing regulatory systems and open up a new set of court cases on legal liabilities — soon to begin with Uber’s first pedestrian death (now being blamed on software).

👋 How to get blockchains to talk to each other http://bit.ly/2xd4pJN

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This article provided a good look at a rising challenge with hundreds of different blockchains co-existing — interoperability. The original, and most notable blockchain, the bitcoin blockchain, has evolved and been forked into multiple different versions — Ethereum, Dogecoin, Hyperledger, and hundreds more. These alternative blockchains have allowed developers to create their own customized decentralized infrastructure, but also has created many different standards that don’t talk to one another. Recognizing this challenge, the startup Aion is attempting to enable cross-chaining applications — essentially the ability to have a decentralized application work across multiple blockchains. For government agencies, the work in this area is important and can be used as inspiration for how we can bring more logic and interoperability to open data. Perhaps a side-chaining applications can help bring logic to thousands of government open data portals once they become decentralized. For agencies interested in learning more about how sidechains function, check out this contributed Forbes piece at https://www.forbes.com/sites/shermanlee/2018/02/07/explaining-side-chains-the-next-breakthrough-in-blockchain/

📱Starbucks’s mobile payments system is so popular in the U.S., it has more users than Apple’s or Google’s http://bit.ly/2GER38R

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: You may be wondering why this article snuck into my top 10 reads of the week — well, it’s because there is so much that the public sector can learn about how Starbucks approached not just mobile payments — but optimizing mobile experience. In 2017, there were 27,339 Starbucks stores around the world — compare that to the over 19,000 cities in the United States alone and you’ll see the point that makes how Starbuck’s approaches mobile so important. Most of the 19,000+ cities have their own website, maybe even a series of mobile apps, but with Starbucks — there is one app (well, two if you count Android) to connect all the stores under a single user-interface. I can order my Americano with a splash Skim Milk and 2 Sugar-in-the-Raws to pick up at the closest Starbucks to where I’m at without having to worry about finding the relevant app for the store nearest me. Of course, this is much easier to implement in a company that owns all of the front-end locations, but in government we must remember that our constituents expect the same experience even though every city has a different governance structure. The real lesson here is that government agencies need to start building and optimizing the plumbing, in this case Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), to a Starbucks-like experience. And the time to start is now. 

🏙 Startup in Residence Aims to Expand to 100 Cities, Announces Newest Local Government Projects http://bit.ly/2s6zwC3

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Startups in Residence (STiR) is one of my favorite examples of how governments can innovate and hack their own processes, without having to change everything from a regulatory sense. STiR is a program designed to help government agencies incubate fixes to their toughest challenges using a network of startups ready to incubate, pilot and optimize their solutions for government. I’ve been a startup advisor for STiR for the past couple years and always enjoy seeing the latest startups that emerge from the program with new government customers and market-validation. For government agencies, STiR is looking to expand to 100 cities for 2018–2019 and I encourage any interested government agencies or gov tech startups to seriously look at joining their network. You can learn more on their website at https://startupinresidence.org/.

⚡️ Companies are using California homes as batteries to power the grid http://bit.ly/2Jd44vH

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Each week I’m seeing an increasing number of new articles discussing how battery-technology can and is redefining our electrical grid. 

Companies like Tesla and SunRun are starting to bid on utility contracts that would allow them to string together dozens or hundreds of systems that act as an enormous reserve to balance the flow of electricity on the grid. Doing so would accelerate the grid’s transformation from 20th century hub-and-spoke architecture to a transmission network moving electricity among thousands or millions of customers who generate and store their own power. (QZ)

The author’s perspective indicates this will be attractive to utilities because of a decrease operating and infrastructure costs — but I also see this new decentralized model as a way to enable renewable energy from homes to enter an open marketplace (I have many other thoughts about how the blockchain fits into this but I’ll save that for another time). For government agencies, the key takeaway here is that we should begin explore public-private-partnerships (P3s) around energy transformation — it won’t be easy with the existing regulatory structures in place in some states — but it will ultimately happen. 

🔮 It’s Never Too Early To Think About 6G http://bit.ly/2ITWfaQ

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Network carriers are currently testing, and in some areas, rolling out 5G networks around the country. In an early simulation in Frankfurt at Mobile World Congress, we saw an indication of some of the bandwidth impacts that 5G would have on mobile experiences: 

The Frankfurt simulation is the more basic network, based on 100 MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum with an underlying gigabit-LTE network on 5 LTE spectrum bands, but the results are still staggering. Browsing jumped from 56 Mbps for the median 4G user to more than 490 Mbps for the median 5G user, with roughly seven times faster response rates for browsing. Download speeds also improved dramatically, with over 90 percent of users seeing at least 100 Mbps download speeds on 5G, versus 8 Mbps on LTE. (The Verge

Even though 5G is still an emerging technology (with years to go before full-scale rollout), it’s interesting to begin tracking industry research for 6G wireless technology. The key takeaway here for government agencies is that advances in connectivity are not just in the ground through fiber, but with the rise of new wireless technologies like 5G and 6G, we will see new and stronger wireless-supported use-cases— even in the most rural areas of our country. 

🚕 MIT’s Super-Efficient Dispatching Algorithm Minimizes a City’s Taxi Fleet http://bit.ly/2s9Rm6O

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In some new research from MIT, researchers created an algorithm that could cut the City of New York’s traditional yellow-cab taxi fleet by up to 30%. That’s roughly 4,200 taxis that could be removed from dispatching without impacting the ability to meet city demand!

…the researchers asked how a better dispatching model could make better use of the taxi fleet as it’s run today, that is, without assuming much ride sharing. They call it the minimum fleet problem, and they handle it as a master pool player does, by making each shot set up the next one. By giving due weight to minimizing the distance between a taxi’s destination and the origin of its next potential trip, the model moves more passengers per vehicle over a given period of time. (IEEE)

The takeaway here for government agencies is that there are always lessons and potential fixes that can be gleaned and tested from academic institutions. Some of my strongest projects were in partnership with the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. With stronger bridges to academia and private-sector companies, research can be directed for far more applicable (and complex) public challenges. Perhaps this is the rise of a new P3 model?

💼 Do Entrepreneurs Need a Strategy? http://bit.ly/2FFXt74

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read about entrepreneurship and overall business strategy that’s applicable to companies in the government technology (gov tech) space. In fact, one of the examples used to discuss strategy was the GovTech 100 company, RapidSOS. The authors created a compass used by companies to navigate their market approach — intellectual property, architectural, value chain, or disruption. For government agencies interested in working with startups, this article provided a good reference that can help you co-create with startups you partner with. In addition, we’ve created free go-to-market resources that you can share with startups you work with to help them better understand how to interface with government agencies. 

🔎 Anderson County, Texas, gets its first cyberdetective, thanks to a federal training program http://bit.ly/2kvcJvv

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read about how a small county was building their cybersecurity skills by sending a detective through a cybersecurity training programming put on by the federal government. Training and re-skilling opportunities will become more critical for public safety organizations as crime continues to evolve into vectors that agencies are not prepared, or staffed, to handle. The bigger takeaway here is that I believe government agencies need to focus on not just re-skilling employees but finding better ways to enable employees to be shared between different agencies. Something I consider to be the shared services model of our era — this time, it’s just about sharing skills, not technology. One smaller county may not be able to afford a cybersecurity detective’s salary longterm, but a county and 10 surround cities could. 

📈 Why AI Isn’t the Death of Jobs http://bit.ly/2L26Gd1

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read from MIT’s Sloan Management Review that was more optimistic regarding AI’s long-term impact on jobs. By surveying over 3,000 companies and looking backward in time, the researchers found some fascinating things:

This research and analysis suggest that although AI will probably lead to less overall full-time-equivalent employment by 2030, it won’t inevitably lead to massive unemployment. One major reason for this prediction is because early, innovation-focused adopters are positioning themselves for growth, which tends to stimulate employment. (MIT Sloan).

For government agencies, AI will undeniably have a major impact on the workforce and workplace — but it doesn’t all have to be bad news. 

So, it’s not an inevitable conclusion that AI will ratchet up unemployment, as many have suggested — at least between now and 2030. The outlook is more nuanced than that. Job losses will arise as the result of automation, as the labor-output ratio evolution suggests. But what often gets overlooked is that job losses are also a risk of companies’ inability or unwillingness to use AI for innovative purposes, which leads to lower revenue and profit — and a lower absolute need for labor. (MIT Sloan).

For government agencies, we need to find ways to use AI to augment and enhance our employees, rather than waiting for the private-sector to figure it out for us. 

Read the full article on Medium

Nudging technology adoption in government, a bot that summarizes documents, and how self-driving cars will reshape cities — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🤝 In blockchain we trust http://bit.ly/2GHjQhP

🤯 Think Uber and Lyft Are Killing Transit? Think Again http://bit.ly/2rSpeoR

🔮 The Future of Organizational Management: Ecological Systems Thinking — http://bit.ly/2rRXArc

💡 The Art of Nudging Technology Adoption in Government http://bit.ly/2IJAq0C (H/T William Eggers)

🔒 Alphabet’s Project Shield expands DDoS protection to politics https://engt.co/2IKxBwf

🚷 There’s a War on Middle Management and Tesla Just Joined It http://bit.ly/2IY2Wf5

🙌 SummarizeBot — Get to Know More by Reading Less! http://bit.ly/2GaIlyI

🚀 Elon Musk’s Boring Company is ‘a few months’ from offering free rides beneath L.A. http://bit.ly/2KVzgxv

⚡️ Tesla’s ‘Other Business’ Is a Game-Changer http://bit.ly/2Ia207Z

🏙 Lots of Lobbies and Zero Zombies: How Self-Driving Cars Will Reshape Cities http://bit.ly/2Lls5P0

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🤝 In blockchain we trust http://bit.ly/2GHjQhP

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was one of the best articles I’ve seen on the blockchain — and what it actually means for society today and tomorrow. Essentially, the author parallels the hype behind the the blockchain to that of the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s.

The crypto bubble, like the dot-com bubble, is creating the infrastructure that will enable the technologies of the future to be built. But there’s also a key difference. This time, the money being raised isn’t underwriting physical infrastructure but social infrastructure. (MIT Technology Review)

The key takeaway here is that both of these hype-factories generated infrastructure that paved the way for major society-impacting disruptions. For government agencies, the blockchain will undeniably have a future impact — but it will be something that will be ushered in by the countless platform companies working to lower the barriers of using it.

🤯 Think Uber and Lyft Are Killing Transit? Think Again http://bit.ly/2rSpeoR

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This read unpacked an interesting study that found transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft actually are filling a need that traditional mass-transportation systems don’t currently have the capacity to handle.

Use of services like Uber and Lyft tended to spike on weekends and late in the evenings when transit service tends to be scaled back. Also, most users of ride-hailing apps don’t normally need to go very far. (Government Technology)

The takeaway here for government is that new technologies and business models will impact behavior in different ways — and sometimes completely contrary to what may seem like an obvious impact. It will become more important than ever for government agencies to let new business models operate in regulatory sandboxes, currently used primarily around FinTech companies, prior to imposing new regulations.

🔮 The Future of Organizational Management: Ecological Systems Thinking — http://bit.ly/2rRXArc

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Although this read was more designed for private-sector companies, I believe there are some applications that also related to the public sector. Most notably, thinking about the process of innovation (or work in general) as a system of systems.

So what’s the future of management thinking? Despite recent history, I have faith that a revolution in management thinking is coming soon. Looking at the broader trend lines, we are starting to see the innovation cycle as a whole system, to understand the normative behaviors that undergird this cycle, and to construct practical tools to measure and accelerate the curve as ideas grow into reality. a paradigm shift is fast approaching. It’s no longer enough to focus only on what’s easy to quantify — the traditional industrial approach. Managers and investors who know how to lead businesses as evolutionary processes — embedded in ecosystems — are most likely to succeed in the new paradigm. (Evonomics)

For government agencies, it’s all too easy to focus on defining roles and duties, but how often do we develop a human resource strategy built around the system — and not just the immediate needs of one area or another.

…A paradigm shift is fast approaching. It’s no longer enough to focus only on what’s easy to quantify — the traditional industrial approach. Managers and investors who know how to lead businesses as evolutionary processes — embedded in ecosystems — are most likely to succeed in the new paradigm. (Evonomics)
💡 The Art of Nudging Technology Adoption in Government http://bit.ly/2IJAq0C (H/T William Eggers)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read on an important issue with new technology adoption — behavior. The authors found that issues with new technology adoption are not always failures in technology but not thinking about the behavioral or people-aspects of its use. For government agencies, the authors found that incorporating elements for intrinsic motivation, choice architecture, and feedback and transparency can greatly enhance the adoption of a new technology. For agencies interested in diving deeper on designing for behavior, I recommend studying the Hook Model and reading Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal.

🔒 Alphabet’s Project Shield expands DDoS protection to politics https://engt.co/2IKxBwf

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Elections and cybersecurity have been two words used far more commonly together over the past year. In addition to government websites, elected officials and political candidates are also increasingly more vulnerable to cyberattacks and often times lack the staff to mitigate the associated risks. As a result, Alphabet is expanding their Project Shield — a free denial of service mitigation tool — available to elected officials, political campaigns, political organizations, and all candidates running for office. For government agencies, this is a great resource to make your elected officials and candidates running for office aware of and I hope to see it expanded to all government agency website domains in the near future.

🚷 There’s a War on Middle Management and Tesla Just Joined It http://bit.ly/2IY2Wf5

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Across the country, there is organizational management trend of eliminating middle-level management structures to increase efficiency — and flatness. The newest company on the bandwagon — Tesla. The reasoning? Increasing communication and eliminating bottlenecks in the flow of information and decisions. Essentially, it’s a hack to make large organizations function more like startups. Unfortunately, this is not a silver bullet that can work magic everywhere and there are a number of challenges that can arise from a completely flattened organizational structure (i.e., too much interaction = not enough time to complete work), but it’s still a notable trend worth exploring. For government agencies, the key takeaway here isn’t to eliminate mid-level managers but to explore ways to streamline the flow of information and ideas in your agencies — the key challenge Musk is currently trying to solve at Tesla.

🙌 SummarizeBot — Get to Know More by Reading Less! http://bit.ly/2GaIlyI

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This isn’t a read, but rather a technology that I found this week. SummarizeBot will take any link or text and provide a summary through machine learning. You can even customize the length of the summary through a slider. When I first saw this tool I immediate thought there was a government play — because often times the length of government documents can present a major challenge for average citizens having the time or bandwidth to read or engage in the content. In fact, some elected officials struggle with also getting to the bottom-line of a legal document’s purpose. Although I’m not endorsing we forgo reading government laws and documents in their entirety, I am advocating that agencies find ways to make some of their data — in this case, ordinances and other long documents — more accessible and easier to understand. This is one tool that just might help provide that function.

🚀 Elon Musk’s Boring Company is ‘a few months’ from offering free rides beneath L.A. http://bit.ly/2KVzgxv

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Elon Musk’s Boring Company has officially completed their first 2.7-mile underground tunnel for transporting bicyclist and pedestrians under the traffic craziness of Los Angeles. This is part of Musk’s vision to build an Urban Loop System that enables cars and people to be autonomously transported underground from point-to-point. For government agencies, the application of Musk’s approach will be one to follow as transportation is a major focus of cities across the globe. I expect to see many studies conducted once operational for agencies to learn from.

⚡️ Tesla’s ‘Other Business’ Is a Game-Changer http://bit.ly/2Ia207Z

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read that reiterated that the disruptive nature of Tesla doesn’t just stop with electric cars — but with its ability to also transform the electric grid. Tesla has already demonstrated how disruptive power storage can be in Australia and this was just an early example of what’s possible. For government agencies, the key takeaway here is that technology today isn’t limited by a single designed use-case, but can be a platform for other adjacent possibilities.

🏙 Lots of Lobbies and Zero Zombies: How Self-Driving Cars Will Reshape Cities http://bit.ly/2Lls5P0

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a fun and graphical read on how self-driving cars will reshape cities across the globe. From a zombie car tax to the rise of self-driving car nests (queuing areas) — it’s important for cities to begin to visualize and plan how technology will reshape not just behaviors, but the physical environment. For government agencies, we are entering an era where we’ll need to plan infrastructure to be adaptable — to be able to evolve and change based on the state of the city. For example, Sidewalk Labs a few years ago detailed a concept where parking spots could be shared (think Airbnb for a much smaller area) and ‘come online’ for other vehicles to use when you’re not home. Cities that seek to be smart won’t just overlay new technology infrastructure, they’ll find new ways to unlock and evolve what they already have.

Read the full article on Medium

The rise of AIs interfacing with humans, bot wars, and a more efficient board meeting — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

📞 Google Assistant will soon be able to make calls to book your appointment https://engt.co/2I10Uen

🚛 Why self-driving trucks will take over before self-driving cars http://bit.ly/2rtYafk

🗺 For a truly ‘smart’ city, you need a ‘geographic action system’ https://wapo.st/2jySGeY (H/T Herman Chandi)

🛣 The Transportation Problem No One Is Talking About http://bit.ly/2KHxOPd

🤖 There’s a growing problem of bots fighting each other online http://bit.ly/2I8tjPY

💡 This company hopes its cryptocurrency can help the internet of things reach its true potential http://bit.ly/2G2i0Tv

👀 Amazon-owned Ring embraces neighborhood watch with home security networking app http://bit.ly/2I4l72X

📉 The British pound crashed overnight, and it was probably because of an algorithm http://bit.ly/2KXptH6

💼 How Netflix Redesigned Board Meetings http://bit.ly/2KNvVQU

🚀 Google’s ML Kit makes it easy to add AI smarts to iOS and Android apps https://tcrn.ch/2I6m5I7

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

📞 Google Assistant will soon be able to make calls to book your appointment https://engt.co/2I10Uen

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: At I/O 2018 , Google’s annual developer’s conference, a new artificial intelligence featured called Google Duplex was debuted to an announced of stunned developers. Google Duplex is designed to enable Google’s AI to interface with live humans to complete tasks such as scheduling an appointment (You can watch the demo of this demonstration here). The longterm plan here is to embed this functionality into Google Assistant, giving all users the ability to complete digital and physical tasks — almost like giving everyone a secretary to coordinate physical tasks on their behalf. For government agencies, this is an important advancement because not all modernization will happen first on the backend — meaning applications like Google Duplex could give users the ability to have a natural language chatbot complete government tasks, such as filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Although the technology is amazing, it is important to note that not everyone is a fan and there are ethical concerns that must be balanced. Some of the backlash was so strong, Google announced that Duplex would now identify itself as an AI upfront.

🚛 Why self-driving trucks will take over before self-driving cars http://bit.ly/2rtYafk

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting perspective on self-driving trucks having the potential to become more mainstream before self-driving cars for consumers. Profiling a Chinese company called TuSimple, with a U.S. presence as well, the author makes the case that closed private facilities, such as ports, are the perfect place for autonomous trucks to thrive because it’s a controlled environment with predictable and consistent workflows (unloading ships). As the author indicates, this could also be a great place to incubate autonomous technology before it becomes mainstream with consumers.

🗺 For a truly ‘smart’ city, you need a ‘geographic action system’ https://wapo.st/2jySGeY (H/T Herman Chandi)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been around for over 50 years, but this was a great piece that indicated the need to evolve traditional GIS approaches into something more actionable for cities. The author calls this a ‘Geographic Action Systems (GAS)’ and describes its function as follows:

GAS would continuously transmit real-time data about current city conditions — in video, symbolic or written form — directly to control devices or to human or robotic monitors. Monitors could immediately respond, initiating appropriate actions to alleviate or solve problems. GAS also could communicate directly with citizens, a task facilitated by citywide interconnectivity — public WiFi or satellite-based.

For government agencies, the author makes a strong point about the need to not just use data to reflect on previous trends and patterns, but to anticipate and proactively respond to new patterns. The only way to accomplish this will be for cities to look to normalize disparate sets of real-time data into unified place and further leverage artificial intelligence (along with a base set of standards and rules) to begin to make sense of the data.

🛣 The Transportation Problem No One Is Talking About http://bit.ly/2KHxOPd

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a good look at a problem we don’t often hear about in the stories painting the progress of self-driving vehicles — rural navigation. Essentially, the author makes the point that rural areas pose a major challenge for self-driving vehicles due to the lack of available 3D maps. MIT researchers founded a new company called MapLite that uses GPS and basic sensors to navigate rural roads. For government agencies, this research could make it possible for autonomous ridesharing fleets to solve the first-mile and last-mile problem, especially in rural areas, in a more economical way.

🤖 There’s a growing problem of bots fighting each other online http://bit.ly/2I8tjPY

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This article provided a fascinating look at how bots interact and sometimes clash with each other online — the main takeaway? Bots are increasingly fighting each other online. The research was based on Wikipedia edits and it found that bots would edit each other’s previous edits considerably more than humans — and that due to the lack of coordination between bots — this could lead to hundreds of additional edits over time. The main takeaway here is that as bots grow in volume and the complexity of the tasks they can complete, we will need to look at ways to coordinate and optimize how they interact with one another — especially since each both could be driven by proprietary algorithms.

💡 This company hopes its cryptocurrency can help the internet of things reach its true potential http://bit.ly/2G2i0Tv

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The startup Helium is working on a way for the Internet of Things to leverage the decentralized benefits of the blockchain to reach its full potential. Although just a concept still at this point, the need to manage the data exhaust (and micro-transactions) from future IoT devices makes this model a very plausible way to address these emerging issues. For government agencies, it will be important to follow companies like Helium because as the de facto system of record — government will have to ultimately orchestrate and potentially regulate an exponentially increasing amount of connected sensors going forward.

👀 Amazon-owned Ring embraces neighborhood watch with home security networking app http://bit.ly/2I4l72X

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Amazon’s purchase of Ring hasn’t stopped the startup’s innovations — this time, they’ve launched a new neighborhood watch feature called Neighbors. Neighbors enables users to “access local crime and safety information, view videos shared by Ring security camera owners, and share text-based messages as you would in a social network.” For government agencies, there’s also a place for public safety agencies to sign-up and share their own video and intelligence with the communities — providing another powerful mechanism for cities to better connect with their citizens.

📉 The British pound crashed overnight, and it was probably because of an algorithm http://bit.ly/2KXptH6

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an older read, but a good reminder that our increased reliance on algorithmic decision-making — from stock trading to public safety applications— has the potential to respond in ways that we don’t always anticipate or want. In this case, a series of tweets made by French President about Brexit may have started a chain reaction of algorithmic selling that dropped the market 6 percent. For government agencies, there is not an easy answer to this challenge longterm, but it’s something to be aware of as more decisions are becoming automated over time.

💼 How Netflix Redesigned Board Meetings http://bit.ly/2KNvVQU

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was one of my favorite reads of the week that profiled how Netflix redesigned their board meetings to be more effective by engaging board members in regular company meetings.

Netflix takes a radically different approach. It incorporates two unique practices. First, board members periodically attend (in an observing capacity only) monthly and quarterly senior management meetings. What’s more, communication with the board comes in the form of a short, online memo that allows directors to ask questions and comment within the document. Executives can amend the text and answer questions in what is essentially a living document. (HBR)

For government agencies, the same model can be applied to state and local governing bodies — whether an IT governance committee or a city council — the transparent operating model leverage by Netflix has the potential to also improve the way government organizations work as well.

🚀 Google’s ML Kit makes it easy to add AI smarts to iOS and Android apps https://tcrn.ch/2I6m5I7

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Another announcement from I/O 2018 was that Google was launching a new software development kit (SDK) for iOS and Android developers to embed machine learning capabilities into their mobile apps. The SDK is called ML Kit and provides online and offline machine learning templates for developers to add features like image classification directly into their apps. For government agencies, this is a reminder that the barriers of using advanced technologies continue to fall, which continues to lower the barrier to incorporating state-of-the-art use-cases in government applications without the high upfront development costs.

Read the full article on Medium.

The rise of the Tesla ridesharing network, the reputation age, and actors paid to attend city council meetings — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🤯 Actors were paid to attend New Orleans city council meetings supporting power plant http://bit.ly/2wiDr3b

💰 Amazon finally opens up Alexa to developers to make money off third-party skills http://bit.ly/2HXZ8GS

👉 If Facial Recognition Comes to Body Cameras, How Will Government Respond? http://bit.ly/2Kp5LUt

🔎 Here’s How Facebook Uses AI To Detect Many Kinds Of Bad Content http://bit.ly/2KwNpkr

🚙 Uber to the ER? http://bit.ly/2KtcP2v

💡 Elon Musk offers more detail about Tesla’s ridesharing network https://tcrn.ch/2FDc7f3

📱 Sidewalk Labs’ New Tool Uses Smartphone Data to Model Changes in Transportation http://bit.ly/2FlHomQ

💻 Stuff 3.0: The Era of Programmable Matter http://bit.ly/2FsT5bh

💯 Say Goodbye To The Information Age: It’s All About Reputation Now http://bit.ly/2raiTog

🍕 How Pizza Night Can Cost More in Data Than Dollars https://on.wsj.com/2JAtznK

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🤯 Actors were paid to attend New Orleans city council meetings supporting power plant http://bit.ly/2wiDr3b

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting read that surfaced the use of paid-protestors, an increasing tactic now being used at the state and local level of government. Politics aside, we’ve entered a point of time where people can be organized using the Internet to protest (or create the perception of protest) for a simple monetary transaction. Companies, like Crowds On Demand, can enable corporate interest — or just a frustrated citizen — to amplify their voices with a paid audience of other protestors. You can also use the same crowd to speak in favor of an agenda item or candidate up for election. For government agencies, although there is not an easy way to distinguish between paid and authentic protestors — it’s important to know this is a new tactic now being used to alter and sometimes disrupt government decisions at the state and local level.

💰 Amazon finally opens up Alexa to developers to make money off third-party skills http://bit.ly/2HXZ8GS

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Amazon announced that they are going to enable developers of the Amazon Alexa platform to begin monetizing their created skills through in-experience purchases. This change will lead to an increase in developers adding new skills to the over 30,000 skills currently available on the Alexa marketplace. For government agencies, the commerce benefits will be more useful when applied to enabling fees and payments to be completed within a skill. The most important aspect that will be required to accomplish this is a form of identity management and verification that extends to these new third-party platforms.

👉 If Facial Recognition Comes to Body Cameras, How Will Government Respond? http://bit.ly/2Kp5LUt

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Last week we read about the potential rise of facial recognition in police body cameras — this week, I’m back with a great breakdown by GovTech of how far along the potential utilization of this technology is and how government agencies might respond:

In terms of where the facial recognition technology is, from one of the largest vendors:

In a statement sent to Government Technology, Axon said: At this point in time, we are not working on facial recognition technology to be deployed on body cameras. While we do see the value in this future capability, we also appreciate the concerns around privacy rights and the risks associated with misidentification of individuals. Accordingly, we chose to first form the AI Ethics Board to help ensure we balance both the risks and the benefits of deploying this technology. At Axon we are committed to ensuring that the technology we develop makes the world a better, and a safer place. (Government Technology)

In terms of a potential government response:

The Major Cities Chiefs Association’s technology committee has had some discussions about facial recognition and the benefits of the software are regularly acknowledged, said Rick Myers, the association’s executive director. Although he is not aware of any city governments venturing into establishing a law enforcement policy as it relates to using facial recognition technology, he believes it will likely be an internal policy a police department develops at the time when they decide whether to opt in or out of using this tool. (Government Technology)

For government agencies, the speed of change in public safety technology will continue to accelerate — and many new innovations will challenge existing policies and procedures. Ultimately, it is vital to have a regular conversation with multiple stakeholders (including civil service) about emerging technology on the horizon.

🔎 Here’s How Facebook Uses AI To Detect Many Kinds Of Bad Content http://bit.ly/2KwNpkr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting look-under-the-hood of how Facebook is using AI to detect inappropriate content — essentially by using millions of user-reported content as a basis for training their artificial intelligence content-flagging systems. This system is so accurate now that many inappropriate content pieces are automatically flagged based on the included images and text, even if they didn’t exactly match a previous post — a side-benefit of deep learning systems. For government agencies, this approach is worth taking note of as a mechanism to deal with some of the challenges that come from content bot-attacks (i.e., misinformation campaigns) and citizen-engagement platform manipulation.

🚙 Uber to the ER? http://bit.ly/2KtcP2v

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Cities are struggling to find ways to bridge health transit options — from critical ER trips to regular doctors visits — the ability to connect people with healthcare is becoming a pressing challenge for cities to solve. As the article indicates, there have been many pilots that have showed minor gains with leveraging ridesharing networks like Uber as an alternative, but the data isn’t conclusive at this point. For government agencies, there are a few lessons that can be extracted:

  1. Cities need the ability to analyze and orchestrate disparate travel options — not just city-owned mass transit.
  2. Additional pilots, like having Uber take people to jury duty, will be vital to understanding the best interface for these companies — and government agencies will need to be able to collect and analyze the data to understand the impact.
💡 Elon Musk offers more detail about Tesla’s ridesharing network https://tcrn.ch/2FDc7f3

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In a Q1 earnings call, Elon Musk shed additional light on Tesla’s eventual ridesharing network. The Tesla Ridesharing Network has been previously discussed but little details were made public regarding how this might be deployed — and when. Although there is still no defined start date, there are a few items worth noting for government agencies:

  • Ridesharing Teslas could be used as an Uber or Lyft or hybrid of the two, instead of just operating a proprietary network of only Tesla ridesharing.
  • Although full autonomous Teslas are not on the road (they currently require a human driver behind the wheel with frequent intervention checks), the current Tesla fleet has the hardware capabilities to support it. Meaning, an over-the-air software update could enable Level 5 autonomy.
  • Tesla will need to create a software platform to orchestration ridesharing, interfacing across Lyft and Uber, that will provide an opportunity for government agencies to explore data partnerships to enable more seamless routing.
📱 Sidewalk Labs’ New Tool Uses Smartphone Data to Model Changes in Transportation http://bit.ly/2FlHomQ

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Using aggregated anonymized cell phone data, Sidewalk Labs has created a new tool — called Replica — to help cities understand the movement of people and how it evolves over time. The benefit of this type of a tool is that it enables cities to understand the behavior and pulse of their cities as it changes, without exposing any personally identifiable information in the process (Note: There are still considerations that should be evaluated regarding data aggregate and how it’s used). An approach like this also enables cities to make decisions based on recent data instead of waiting for manual traffic counts or surveys to be fielded and replaces a trove a disparate datasets that would have to be manually compiled and normalized in the process.

💻 Stuff 3.0: The Era of Programmable Matter http://bit.ly/2FsT5bh

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a fascinating read that makes the point that we’re fast approaching a new era where both hardware and software can be optimized to do anything we can imagine.

Life 3.0 marks a step-change from this: creatures that can change both their hardware and software in something like a feedback loop. This is what Tegmark views as a true artificial intelligence — one that can learn to change its own base code, leading to an explosion in intelligence. Perhaps, with CRISPR and other gene-editing techniques, we could be using our “software” to doctor our “hardware” before too long. (SingularityHUB)

For government agencies, although we’re not there yet — this era of change will require a different operational and governance model for how we deploy and manage technology. For example, if you’re SCADA systems can automatically fix vulnerabilities and optimize source-code, how does that change traditional security hygiene? What is the role of the CIO going forward?

💯 Say Goodbye To The Information Age: It’s All About Reputation Now http://bit.ly/2raiTog

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In the post-Cambridge Analytica world,the ability to assess the reputation (i.e. trust) of information sources is seen as an important tactic to solving the fake news crisis. The mechanisms for brokering trust in a digital age are not completely new to today — as we’ve seen with eBay, Amazon and many other digital companies leveraging reputation as a basis for evaluating trustworthiness. This article profiled what the author calls a ‘paradigm shift’ in our relationship with knowledge. And I agree.

We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the “information age,” we are moving towards the “reputation age,” in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated, and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today. It is the gatekeeper to knowledge, and the keys to the gate are held by others. The way in which the authority of knowledge is now constructed makes us reliant on what are the inevitably biased judgments of other people, most of whom we do not know. (Fast Company)

For government agencies, you each play a critical part of the reputation equation today — and it will become more important to identify mechanisms for validating and potentially assessing reputation beyond third-party reputation indexes. Identity and reputation are also important aspects that should also be considered as part of the wider smart cities conversations.

🍕 How Pizza Night Can Cost More in Data Than Dollars https://on.wsj.com/2JAtznK (WSJ Paywall $)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read that showed a hypothetical example of how a pizza night can give up more value in data then the dollars you pay for the experience. Essentially, from the moment the pizza is ordered and the social interactions (like taking a selfie) there are over 53 pieces of information that can be used to better target the buyers. For government agencies, it will become more important to take a proactive roll in the data privacy conversation and also put in place policies to safeguard constituent data that may be collected (and scraped) by third-parties looking to misuse the data.

Read the full article on Medium

The rise of AI-enabled body cams, Amazon gets into blockchain, and the coming consumer data wars — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

⚠️ The Coming Consumer Data Wars http://bit.ly/2KkiQOC

🚗 Why the Rise of Self-Driving Vehicles Will Actually Increase Car Ownership https://t.co/tWWfm7wZnt

🛠 Amazon’s new blockchain service competes with similar products from Oracle and IBM https://tcrn.ch/2HSYsU5

👉 Keys to unlocking great decision-making https://mck.co/2Khj1u9

🚀 AR and VR have hurdles to clear in the enterprise — open standards will help http://bit.ly/2HXq0u9

🔎 Facial recognition may be coming to a police body camera near you https://wapo.st/2KiGZFs

💡 Waze signs data-sharing deal with AI-based traffic management startup Waycare https://tcrn.ch/2r2z7zL

💼 Want to work for Ikea? Your next job interview could be conducted by a Russian robot https://wapo.st/2I35dTl

👤 What Is Human-Centric Design? http://bit.ly/2qYscYf

🤯 Artificial Intelligence — The Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet http://bit.ly/2K24an6

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

⚠️ The Coming Consumer Data Wars http://bit.ly/2KkiQOC

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: As we’ve discussed a few weeks now, scandals like Cambridge Analytica and the rise of GDPR have led to new debates around the commercial use of personal data. As the author notes:

With the GDPR, companies will be able to access data from both rivals and players outside their industry by enticing consumers to transfer their information. One way this could be accomplished is by offering better prices and services to customers who park their personal data with them. Traditional barriers to entry based on data collected over decades will be demolished, enabling small and nimble tech-based competitors that gain consumers’ trust to become potentially widespread.

With legislation enabling users to have more access of their own data, this will result in the rapid rise of new platforms — and ultimately additional competition to gain consumer trust (and data) in new ways. This sounds like an Identity Data Provider (IDP) to me? For government agencies — as the de facto repository of vast amounts of constituent data — it will be more important than ever to also revisit how and when to use this constituent data could be put to use.

🚗 Why the Rise of Self-Driving Vehicles Will Actually Increase Car Ownership https://t.co/tWWfm7wZnt

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Most self-driving car articles and research have always discussed its potential impact leading to a decrease of car ownership, which is why this article that argued for the opposite caught my attention. The author makes the point that this may not be the case.

When people predict the demise of car ownership, they are overlooking the reality that the new autonomous automotive industry is not going to be just a re-hash of today’s car industry with driverless vehicles. Instead, the automotive industry of the future will be selling what could be considered an entirely new product: a wide variety of intelligent, self-guiding transportation robots. When cars become a widely used type of transportation robot, they will be cheap, ubiquitous, and versatile.

In my opinion, we have to look beyond the traditional behavior dynamics of self-driving cars and also look at how their rise may lead to new business models altogether. Perhaps, owning a self-driving car in the future could be the future equivalent of renting out your house on Airbnb today, because self-driving technology can enable passive streams of income for owners while not in use. For government agencies, here are a few things to note:

  1. Regardless of the number of vehicles on the road, the rise of self-driving cars will create a gray area of liability for violations, accidents, etc. when no one is behind the wheel.
  2. Mass transportation systems should be looking at testing new models of ownership and operation to prepare for the future. It’s encouraging to see organizations like Capital Metro starting to do this — but we need to do a lot more of this experimentation and collaboration, and quickly!
🛠 Amazon’s new blockchain service competes with similar products from Oracle and IBM https://tcrn.ch/2HSYsU5

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Amazon has officially entered the blockchain platform space through the launch of AWS Blockchain Templates, and they describe this as a quicker way to test and deploy applications:

AWS Blockchain Templates provide a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using popular open source frameworks. These templates enable you to focus on building your blockchain applications instead of spending time and energy on manual setup of your blockchain network.

For government agencies, the important thing to remember here is that the most effective and impactful blockchain use-cases will be ushered in by platform companies like Amazon. This is because it takes a network of users to gain benefits of decentralized technology — meaning that rolling out blockchain in one agency would require significant duplicate entry and effort from interfacing entities without access. For more reading and resources on blockchain in government, visit my Blockchain Research Page.

👉 Keys to unlocking great decision-making https://mck.co/2Khj1u9

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a quick read on making better decisions — because in the exponential era we live in, organizations will need to make the right decisions quicker than ever. For government agencies, many times in natural to latch onto new technology and management fads, but as the author indicates, we must debunk some of the common preconceived practices in order to actually get things done:

  • Myth #1. You must choose between quality and speed.
  • Myth #2. Good decisions are easier using technology, big data, AI, etc.
  • Myth #3. Applying best practices will improve decision-making.
🚀 AR and VR have hurdles to clear in the enterprise — open standards will help http://bit.ly/2HXq0u9

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are anticipated to create a paradigm shift around how we consume and interact with information. Some reports even put the estimated market size for both technologies to be around $215 billion dollars by 2021. Venture capital has been flowing into startups developing the technology and tech giants like Apple are also working on their own setup. There’s no doubt the technology has the potential to create significant market impact, but there are challenges that need to be solved for it to be leveraged in the enterprise (and to scale with consumers). The author makes some great points around eye tracking capabilities, multi-user operations in shared spaces, and walled gardens. For government agencies, take note of the author’s perspective around what’s needed to solve these challenges in enterprise settings:

Open standards provide a way to connect all of the AR and VR technologies together, so that they’re able to work together to create the best and most useful experience possible. This means that the Amazons and Microsofts of the world would develop products that were able to connect to each other and the wider ecosystem of AR and VR technologies, rather than trying to trap buyers in their singular product line.
🔎 Facial recognition may be coming to a police body camera near you https://wapo.st/2KiGZFs

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Axon, the maker of Taser, convened a new board focused on AI and ethics to explore the potential of leveraging facial recognition technology in its body cameras. This board is designed to help explore and answer the numerous ethical questions and legal gray areas associated with a rollout. Most importantly, as the author notes, rolling out AI-powered facial recognition could be as simple as a software update:

Axon’s long-established contracts with nationwide police forces could push the technology’s real-world deployment rapidly forward. Instead of signing new deals with tech firms, police departments with Axon body cameras could push facial-recognition features to its officers in potentially the same way they apply a software update.

For government agencies, it’s important to note that we are entering an era where hardware can gain new layers of capabilities through software updates, similar to what we saw when Tesla rolled out Autopilot to owners of its Model S sedan.

💡 Waze signs data-sharing deal with AI-based traffic management startup Waycare https://tcrn.ch/2r2z7zL

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: What’s notable about this announcement is that Waze is expanding their Connected Citizens Program to other gov tech companies as well. One of the biggest challenges that intelligent transportation must overcome is consolidating and normalizing disparate data sets between different entities — including the private-sector, and this approach is exactly what other gov tech companies should be constructing (along with open standards) to advance progress and innovation in other verticals of government.

💼 Want to work for Ikea? Your next job interview could be conducted by a Russian robot https://wapo.st/2I35dTl

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Chatbots are finding some interesting jobs to help augment roles in the government and job interview just might be their next big use-case. This article profiles an experiment from Ikea, who is testing using chatbots to do initial candidate screening interviews. The benefit? The chatbots can serve as the first candidate filter for human resources without needing to tie up a physical person. For government agencies, there is a lot of innovation happening around human resource systems and chatbot interviews just might be another use-case worth exploring.

👤 What Is Human-Centric Design? http://bit.ly/2qYscYf

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Human-centered design is a growing area of important for state and local government agencies. Taking cues from the UK’s Digital Services model, many agencies are have begun embedding human-centered design and design thinking into their own digital service delivery models. This was a great read that looked under the hood of human-centric design for government. What’s the benefit? When you design for the ‘human experience’ you can serve people more effectively by meeting their needs instead of what you think should be done. This is such a prominent trend that we even evolved our 20-year-old Best of Web / Digital Government Achievement Awards program to the Government Experience Awards — to recognize agencies taking the leap. For government agencies interested in learning more about designing for experience, you can check out a slide deck I presented at our first annual Government Experience Academy.

🤯 Artificial Intelligence — The Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet http://bit.ly/2K24an6

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great in-depth read on the current state of Artificial Intelligence and what’s around the corner. AI has the potential to revolutionize and disrupt every industry — but it can often be overhyped and thrown on anything without properly understanding its most effective applications. For government agencies interested in exploring where AI is really at — I highly encourage you to give this one a read.

The UK creates a plan for AI, a city run by car batteries, and Lyft’s co-founders have an idea to end traffic — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🏗 Amazon’s new ‘Alexa Blueprints’ let anyone create custom Alexa skills and responses https://tcrn.ch/2EXTnqw

⚠️ True scale of Bitcoin ransomware extortion revealed http://bit.ly/2Hbu2v1

🤖 UK Government Proposes Five Basic Principles to Keep Humans Safe From AI http://bit.ly/2JRV3FM

🧠 Your city is becoming ‘smarter’ — and that has much scarier consequences for your data than the Facebook scandal https://ind.pn/2qPh7rS

🛣 The End of Traffic– http://bit.ly/2HlgVHV

🔎 Permissions Aren’t Telling Us Nearly Enough About Our Apps http://bit.ly/2JKSSDV

🤯 Google futurist and director of engineering: Basic income will spread worldwide by the 2030s https://read.bi/2HyTlYY

💡 NASCIO Releases State CIO as Broker: A New Model https://bit.ly/2H8vnTr

👀 Executives Believe They Are Innovators, But Employees Disagree http://bit.ly/2JfMiEr

⚡️ Cities Running on Car Batteries? Just So Crazy It Might Work http://bit.ly/2HmPMEt

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🏗 Amazon’s new ‘Alexa Blueprints’ let anyone create custom Alexa skills and responses https://tcrn.ch/2EXTnqw

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: It seems everyday a new barrier falls to creating, developing, or designing new digital experiences. Gone are the days of having to learn a programming language in order to build something for society to consume — we are now all creators, ins. I’ve seen the rise of codeless app building engines, like MIT’s App Inventor, and now the democratization of creation has moved to Voice UI — specifically on the Amazon EchoAmazon’s Blueprints enables anyone to add a voice skill (Q&A, Story, etc.) to their Echo without needing to sign-up as a developer or write any code. For government agencies, this is a growing trend to watch with two takeaways:

  1. You can rapidly test anything — If you want to test a new idea, new democratized tech-creation platforms, like Amazon’s Blueprints, enables you to test ideas rapidly, without having any expert knowledge.
  2. Your citizens can nudge you — If your citizens get frustrated by an experience, they may opt to create a new digital experience to nudge you, in the place of going to a council meeting to sign up to speak. For example, DoNotPay is a chatbot that was created to help citizens fight parking tickets (now covering over 1,000 new areas) by generating all the necessary paperwork to contest a ticket without having to talk to anyone (including an attorney).
⚠️ True scale of Bitcoin ransomware extortion revealed http://bit.ly/2Hbu2v1

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Ransomware attacks have become a common threat for government agencies, crippling transit systems and even bringing the City of Atlanta back to paper for a few days. A group of researchers was able to analyze bitcoin transactions on the blockchain to attempt to estimate which ransomware exploits were the most impactful. Interestingly enough, after the significant press about WannaCry and CryptoLocker exploits— the most impactful ransomware (from a monetary sense) was CryptoWall with $2.2 million dollars in Bitcoin ransom payments. The good news about the research is that it was released publicly for others to collaborate on — and since bitcoin is pseudonymous, it will require significant community resources to sift through and analyze the data. For government agencies, specifically public safety organizations, cybercrime will require new sets of skills — even around cryptocurrency — to educate the public, investigate crimes that occur, and ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice.

🤖 UK Government Proposes Five Basic Principles to Keep Humans Safe From AI http://bit.ly/2JRV3FM

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This article was a great summary of a new report put out by the UK government’s committee on Artificial Intelligence to help define a national approach for the UK on AI. It’s a good example of how we should be approaching government’s role in AI in the United States — but the one difference here is that it cannot be led by the federal government alone, as it will require significant involvement from state and local government. State and local government will have many AI opportunities and challenges to overcome — from declining general revenues from autonomous vehicles to new AI-enabled local government crimes — AI will require a new, collective approach for government. You can also read the full report by clicking here.

🧠 Your city is becoming ‘smarter’ — and that has much scarier consequences for your data than the Facebook scandal https://ind.pn/2qPh7rS

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, many Americans are more conscious then they have been in some time, but may not realize that there is a growing challenge that could be even bigger and it involves their city. As local government agencies become the platform of the Internet of Things (IoT) — connecting streetlights, cars, and sensors throughout communities — this also creates new cybersecurity and privacy vulnerabilities that agencies need to be prepared for.

 

We found at the Center for Digital Government, that 81% of city leaders were already planning with IoT in mind (which is great) — but planning smart city applications is easy, the hard thing is architecting, securing, and orchestrating these new devices. And this can’t just be done by government agencies, it requires public involvement. The author says it best:

“People need to become better informed and more involved. The business models of stakeholders need to be scrutinized and their use of data needs to be accountable. Most of all, citizens need to be listened to on how they want their cities to develop.”
🛣 The End of Traffic http://bit.ly/2HlgVHV

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Traffic sucks. And the co-founders of Lyft offer up a new idea for government agencies to nudge behavior to get fewer cars on the road. What’s the idea? Something called smart lanes — and these are not your ordinary high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes. Now you might be thinking, what is a smart lane? Well, the authors describe smart lanes a type of toll road (on existing defined ‘smart lanes or highways’) that is completely free for any vehicles with three or more people. A simple, yet controversial idea, that could nudge behavior to reduce cars and increase car-pooling.

The authors frame a smart lane deployment in the following three steps:

Based on local traffic data across the country, city, and regional governments should classify specific streets and highways as smart lanes.
Next, a federal infrastructure fund should be created to provide grants to those cities and states that establish eligible smart lane infrastructure sufficient to eliminate traffic.
Last, the recipients should re-invest all funds generated by these smart lanes back into hard infrastructure like roads and bridges, creating jobs, as well as into public transit, using the smart lanes to give buses faster travel times and further increase accessibility.

For government agencies, this idea isn’t necessarily the answer to our traffic woes, but it’s a good start because optimizing our transit systems is going to take testing some radical ideas.

🔎 Permissions Aren’t Telling Us Nearly Enough About Our Apps http://bit.ly/2JKSSDV

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This article provided an overview of some of the challenges and current work being done around application permissions. The author makes some great points about the need to simplify permissions as well as some of the emerging less documented issues (i.e., what happens when I revoke permissions to an app I’ve been using). I’ve argued that ultimately we have to stop treating privacy as something managed by a set of application features and move to flipping the data ownership model. There’s a great WSJ article that makes a similar case that can be read here. For government agencies, privacy will continue to grow as an issue that must be proactively managed, requiring agencies to keep a pulse on what’s happening in the private-sector.

🤯 Google futurist and director of engineering: Basic income will spread worldwide by the 2030s https://read.bi/2HyTlYY

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Notable Google futurist Ray Kurzweil stated his latest prediction that Universal Basic Income (UBI) would be in the developing world by the early 2030s and global by the latter half of that decade. UBI has been a hot topic of conversation, small-scale pilots and even the basis of a presidential run, as a response to workforce impacts of automation and advances in robotics. In addition, one UBI model doesn’t fit all, as there are lots of proposed structures — including one that I encourage you to check out called Universal Basic Assets (UBA). For government agencies, the key takeaway to Kurzweil’s prediction is that he’s expecting substantial societal and economic changes starting within the next 12 years — a timeline that is not a generation away, it’s just over a decade away. This doesn’t mean start planning for a UBI-enabled retirement, instead, government agencies need to get better a quickly adapting to changes in technology, economic models and end-user behavior over the next decade.

💡 NASCIO Releases State CIO as Broker: A New Model https://bit.ly/2H8vnTr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) put the first series of research on multisourcing — managing a portfolio of different environments and assets. In conducting this research, NASCIO recognized that:

States are looking for ways to deliver on demand for a more diversified portfolio of services and technologies. In order to that meet demand and maintain enterprise-wide standards the new operating model that is emerging can appear to be fairly complex. NASCIO’s research project is intended to help forge the way forward to provide best practices and a maturity assessment for states.

For government agencies, the role of information technology — especially at the state level — is going to require a new operating model for the exponential changes we are seeing, so it’s encouraging to see NASCIO working on this new series. Click here for direct link to the report’s PDF.

👀 Executives Believe They Are Innovators, But Employees Disagree http://bit.ly/2JfMiEr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This read this validated an important truth about innovation and culture change — it’s not all going to happen at the top and it’s important to not just engage with your employees in the innovation process, but let them lead it with you. And based on the survey in this article, it’s clear that not all your employees may be behind you. So what are you to do? Here are two takeaways:

  • Innovation is bottoms up — Executives can help frame the rules (How much is too much risk, budget, etc.) but executives should recognize that the most sustainable innovations emerge from the edge of their organization, not the top.
  • Innovation cannot be mandated — Empowerment is the key to changing culture and giving employees the ability to co-create, outside of their normal duties, the change your organization needs. Your role as an executive is to coach, provide feedback, and help guide them along the journey.
⚡️ Cities Running on Car Batteries? Just So Crazy It Might Work http://bit.ly/2HmPMEt

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a fascinating read outlining a concept where electric vehicles (EVs) could become an important extension of the electrical grid. Outside of cybersecurity, one of the biggest challenges is how to store excess energy from renewable energy generation sources — and with the rise of resident-owned renewable energy generations — there is a major opportunity to capture, store and monetize excess energy. The author outlines a series of pilots, including one by Nissan, to leverage EV batteries as a home power source. For government agencies, infrastructure modifications and enhancements will be required to enable such a system, but another obstacle evident in the pilots must also be factored in — behavior change. Getting people to adopt a new system or habit can be challenging, but there’s a significant volume of research and best practices that agencies can lean on to get a head start.

Read the full article on Medium. 

Seven qualities of the future-focused city, blockchain could kill the traditional utility, and the rise of an IoT security crisis — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🔮 Seven Qualities of the Future Focused City: Disruptive Technologies Invite a New Not-Normal — Smart Cities Connect http://bit.ly/2EH1qrE (H/T Chelsea Collier)

❤️ Smart Cities Need H.E.A.R.T. http://bit.ly/2EPjuzN

🚙 This new lidar sensor could equip every autonomous car in the world by the end of 2018 http://bit.ly/2HlLSz3

😲 FDA approves AI-powered diagnostic that doesn’t need a doctor’s help http://bit.ly/2IOi4YM

💡 Transformative Technology’s Challenges for Government http://bit.ly/2GMBXD9

🌉 How Will Automation Affect Different U.S. Cities? http://bit.ly/2JDG428

🔐 Privacy, Ethics and Regulation in Our New World of Artificial Intelligence http://bit.ly/2vr3FA7

⚠️ A Long-Awaited IoT Crisis Is Here, and Many Devices Aren’t Ready http://bit.ly/2EATybe

🚰 How Blockchain Is Threatening to Kill the Traditional Utility https://bloom.bg/2EyNHTr

👉 Build a case, build a following: Laying the groundwork to transform customer experience in government http://bit.ly/2H2alsZ

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🔮 Seven Qualities of the Future Focused City: Disruptive Technologies Invite a New Not-Normal — Smart Cities Connect http://bit.ly/2EH1qrE (H/T Chelsea Collier)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This read from Chelsea Collier was right on target with how government agencies should be approaching the smart cities dialog. It’s undeniable that cities are entering a new tech-enabled era of opportunity, but not all cities are approaching this inevitable future optimistically. Chelsea also makes the point that cities are either future-focused or inertia cities — based on their actions — which are demonstrated through the seven qualities she outlines in her article. For government agencies, this article and whether or not these technologies are on your planning radar provide a good litmus test to evaluate (and reevaluate) if your efforts are holistically leaning in the forward direction.

❤️ Smart Cities Need H.E.A.R.T. http://bit.ly/2EPjuzN

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Another great ‘smart cities’ read this week came from Padmanand Warrier — whom I also had the pleasure of meeting in Austin a few weeks— regarding how cities should take a people-centric approach to becoming smart, something Pad calls H.E.A.R.T.

“Recently Austin, my hometown, played host to global thought leaders at the Cities Summit during the SXSW conference. It was both informative and inspiring to listen to a cross section of civic leaders, creative urbanists and concerned citizen advocates. Yet, I came away with a sense of want — something fundamental seemed missing from the discussions around autonomous vehicles, digital identities, smart sensors and so on. Although there were a few voices calling for the need to include the human aspect, they seemed to be crowded out by exuberance over technology.”

The last line resonated deeply with me because shiny objects seem to increasingly be the focus over people. The conversation is changing, but I think it’s time for government agencies to begin standardizing how they approach (design, fund, implement, and validate) their smart city initiatives. Pad’s list of what cities should be focused on involves Human-centric design, Entrepreneurial spirit, Asset development for the greater good, Renewable-repeatable-replicable and Technology-enabled connections.

🚙 This new lidar sensor could equip every autonomous car in the world by the end of 2018 http://bit.ly/2HlLSz3

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Self-driving cars use a variety of sensors that enable navigation through rapidly changing environments; however, the cost of the required sensors can prevent or slow mass adoption. But the cost of sensors have continued to exponential decrease (while the processing capabilities has exponentially increased). The lidar sensors described in this article can be applied to a vehicle for a few thousand dollars, putting it within the cost of a new vehicle luxury package upgrade for purchasers in the future. I expect to see these capabilities and sensors built into new cars but not fully activated upon initial rollouts, similar to how Telsa deployed the Models. New lidar sensors, such as the one described in the article, will also emerge as a way to retrofit older model vehicles that don’t have the capabilities built-in. For government agencies, get ready because the mass-availability of these new sensors will begin to impact a city near you in the next few years.

😲 FDA approves AI-powered diagnostic that doesn’t need a doctor’s help http://bit.ly/2IOi4YM

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: There has been a significant debate in the medical community about AI’s impact on work, especially around more specialized functions like diagnostics. Until now, there have been many bright spots of AI’s potential, but very few examples beyond what’s being piloted. How it works — This new tool analyzes pictures of your retina and can diagnose diabetic retinopathy, which is a common cause of vision loss in adults, without the need for human involvement. For government agencies, this is an early example of the rise of diagnostic AI that can analyze camera and sensors data for new construction, existing infrastructure and a variety of other public sector use cases — to make recommend decisions on.

💡 Transformative Technology’s Challenges for Government http://bit.ly/2GMBXD9

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great opinion piece built around the perspective that keeping up with future isn’t just about the technology — it’s about being able to exercise new forms of governance and leadership. The author also stresses that we’ve outgrown traditional models of both — and I completely agree. For government agencies, the important thing to remember here as that there is not a textbook in existence that will help you prepare for the challenges you will face tomorrow, rather we are collectively writing one together. This new era requires thinking exponentiallyand experimenting with new, more adaptive models of implementation. Here’s to the future we create together.

🌉 How Will Automation Affect Different U.S. Cities? http://bit.ly/2JDG428

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was interesting data that was compiled to visualize how automation with affect jobs in different cities across the country. The main takeaway was that smaller communities would be hit the hardest, but larger cities where not completely immune. For government agencies, especially smaller cities, this doesn’t mean that you throw in the towel — rather, it’s an opportunity to find new models to create economic value in your communities. Automation may impact traditional 8-to-5 jobs, but there are already new models of remote work, freelancing, and crowd-tasking that are being used to create economic value in some of the most rural areas. This is the next generation of economic development, and the time to start is now.

🔐 Privacy, Ethics and Regulation in Our New World of Artificial Intelligence http://bit.ly/2vr3FA7

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a good read about the emerging issues of privacy, ethics and how agencies will regulate in a new world enabled artificial intelligence. The existing structures and safeguards government agencies have in place must be adapted for technology that has the ability to inform or make decisions. Unfortunately, there is not a silver bullet that all agencies can adopt to deal with the issue — as it’s also something that the private-sector is struggling with — but now more than ever we need to begin a collective conversation on where government fits in the equation. We can also take a lesson from the United Kingdom that recently put out their own AI recommendations, including the desire to “develop a common framework for the ethical development and deployment of artificial intelligence systems. Such a framework should be aligned with existing international governance structures” by convening all agencies together in 2019.

⚠️ A Long-Awaited IoT Crisis Is Here, and Many Devices Aren’t Ready http://bit.ly/2EATybe

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: There are more Internet-connected devices on Earth that people — and as the article points out — this is leading us to an IoT crisis. Most government agencies only look at enterprise IoT — large-scale infrastructure systems like SCADA — from an operational standpoint but fail to understand the role consumer IoT plays in the broader picture. Consumer IoT — driven by low-cost home automation technologies — also has the ability to impact enterprise infrastructure when compromised (and scaled to millions of devices). The underlying problem with consumer IoT is weak, competing standards and poor security practices. For government agencies, it will become more important to be a catalyst and facilitator of a standards conversation with industry. Deloitte also framed some great points about government’s role in the larger IoT regulatory conversation here.

🚰 How Blockchain Is Threatening to Kill the Traditional Utility https://bloom.bg/2EyNHTr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: We’ve read a lot over the past few months regarding blockchain use-cases in government — from property deedsto cities issuing cryptocurrency shares to the public — blockchain has some wild use-cases in the public sector. This article discussed the ability for the blockchain to enable peer-to-peer energy sharing, letting users with renewable energy actually sell their excess energy back to the system or a neighbor. Companies are already piloting the concept today, but the larger question here is what does this mean for the government utility of the future? My thought is that electric utilities will begin to leverage the same technologies to evolve their operating and business models. I don’t see government building these capabilities alone, but through partnering with platform companies — many of which are already building low barrier ways to use the blockchain — to help leverage the benefits of the technology.

👉 Build a case, build a following: Laying the groundwork to transform customer experience in government http://bit.ly/2H2alsZ

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Over the last few years, we have seen the rise of experience as an agency focus area— essentially, designing services around people. It’s become such a prominent trend, we’ve even launched a program to benchmark the experience of government, called the Government Experience Awards. For government agencies, this read was a great validation of focusing on people — not problems — and a good reminder that we have to be able to make the business case in order to move the needle. Not everyone in the public sector understands user-centered design, so it’s up to those who do (even if you’re on the outside) to help disseminate the intelligence and methodology throughout their organizations. You can read more about our views on how to design and implement for experience here.

How the US needs to prepare for AI, exploring the future of privacy, and a new government cryptocurrency in the works — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

👍 Here’s how the US needs to prepare for the age of artificial intelligence http://bit.ly/2uMwJS9

🤖 Walmart’s Future Workforce: Robots and Freelancers https://theatln.tc/2JnfDO5

🛠 If Your Data Is Bad, Your Machine Learning Tools Are Useless http://bit.ly/2Imppyy

⚠️ How Local Governments Can Prevent Cyberattacks https://nyti.ms/2GD2BgN

🔒 Revisiting the Future of Privacy — The Rise of the Identity Data Provider (IDP) http://bit.ly/2JkGvxV

🌇 The city of Seoul dreams of its own government-backed cryptocurrency http://bit.ly/2q8Ze7R

🔮 From AI to Russia, Here’s How Estonia’s President Is Planning for the Future http://bit.ly/2GYrvYp

🤯 Why Businesses and Governments Need to Stop Trying to Secure Their Networks bit.ly/2GndX8k

🧠 Smart Cities are Complicated and Costly: Here’s How to Build Them https://hbs.me/2uVek5x

👉 Human-Centered, Systems-Minded Design (SSIR) http://bit.ly/2p9BTBx

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

👍 Here’s how the US needs to prepare for the age of artificial intelligence http://bit.ly/2uMwJS9

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a good read that unpacked what the government should do as we prepare for the age of artificial intelligence. It’s important to remember that artificial intelligence regulation is not a federal government issue, but a societal issue, that will create the most disruption at the local levels. The author recommends steps involving investing, preparing for job losses, nurturing talent, adjusting education, and guiding regulation. The most important takeaway for government agencies here was the last bullet — Understand the technology.

Above all, the government needs to understand what AI is and what it will do. Since artificial intelligence is such a complex and fast-moving field, it is especially important for experts to be brought in to brief policymakers and the administration. Without technical acumen, it will be a challenge to act effectively in any area relevant to AI.

For those agencies interested in diving deeper, you can read more about the different types of AI and explore what state and local government agencies are using it today.

🤖 Walmart’s Future Workforce: Robots and Freelancers https://theatln.tc/2JnfDO5

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great breakdown of the exponential changes impacting the future of work with one of the largest traditional retailers, Walmart. The is currently a convergence of forces that are impacting the traditional retail model, which is leading to disparate viewpoints on whether this will be good or bad for the individual employees. The convergence of technology innovations (Amazon’s cashier-less stores) with the rise of new forms of work (Uber) are challenging all previous assumptions about the future of work — and leading the questions about what happens with the retail workforce of today. The jury is still out on what the true impact will be, however, one thing is clear — traditional economic incentive models that government agencies offer retailers will need to change. For those agencies interested in diving deeper, Brookings just released a great report that analyzes the local value of economic development that is well worth a read to start.

🛠 If Your Data Is Bad, Your Machine Learning Tools Are Useless http://bit.ly/2Imppyy

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Today, there is an abundance of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that have been democratized within reach of anyone who wants to use them. Whether you’re a large company, small business or city government — you can now leverage the massive computing and artificial intelligence resources of GoogleAmazonIBM, and Microsoft to solve any complex problem you can imagine — but challenges still remain. The biggest problem today isn’t having available tools, it’s having useful data to train these new tools on. The disparate data silos and lack of standards that are rampant in government do not provide a good foundation for machine learning or other artificial intelligent use-cases. For government agencies interested in leveraging these new tools, the author of this piece outlines some good data evaluation questions to ask as a starting point — but we also need to find opportunities to build collective standards around government data and knowledge, spanning outside of just one organization.

⚠️ How Local Governments Can Prevent Cyberattacks https://nyti.ms/2GD2BgN

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In the wake of the Atlanta ransomware attack, many mainstream publications like the New York Times are now picking up on how much of a target government agencies are for cyber attacks. This opinion piece provided some good starting points for local government agencies looking to evaluate and improve their security posture, but it also helps outline how widespread this issue is in a recent survey that was conducted by ICMA:

Forty-four percent of local governments report that they regularly face cyberattacks, on either an hourly or daily basis. More troubling is the high percentage of governments that do not know how often they are attacked (28 percent) or breached (41 percent). Further, a majority of local governments do not catalog or count attacks (54 percent).

These are crazy statistics, which show there are major gaps that need to be mitigated in government. Most importantly, this data also clearly indicates government agencies need to find better ways to share and learn from one another instead of going at it alone. For agencies interested in learning more, here are some good resources and organizations to plug into:

🔒 Revisiting the Future of Privacy — The Rise of the Identity Data Provider (IDP) http://bit.ly/2JkGvxV

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Four years ago, Daniel Charboneau and I described a new method of information brokerage — one where individual users have the ability to own, secure and transact their information through an entity called an Identity Data Provider (IDP). Since that time much has changed and we’ve decided to revisit our initial thoughts, share what we’ve learned, and provide some guidance for the market in this article. For government agencies, privacy and identity management will be one of the most complex issues agencies need to tackle in the years to come, but will require a completely different approach than the information silos that exist today — an IDP, as described in this article, just might be what helps agencies start.

🌇 The city of Seoul dreams of its own government-backed cryptocurrency http://bit.ly/2q8Ze7R

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting read describing how the City of Seoul, as part of their information strategy plan (ISP) for government innovation, is looking to launch a new cryptocurrency — called the S-coin. The S-coin will be used as a token that spans all government services and fuels a cryptocurrency ecosystem, and could also be used to reward environmentally conscious citizens and provide a new mechanism for instilling digital equity in government welfare programs. For government agencies, it’s important to note the blockchain is becoming a new platform that cities are looking to capture and stimulate economic development — from Dubai to companies like Digital Town — the race is heating up for finding the best blockchain use-cases in government.

🔮 From AI to Russia, Here’s How Estonia’s President Is Planning for the Future http://bit.ly/2GYrvYp

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Estonia has been a the forefront of government innovation on a national level —including their widely-recognized e-residency program. In this interview with Wired magazine, Estonia’s president outlines how they are approaching the future and one of the more interesting takeaways is how they are approaching autonomous systems.

“Now the government is discussing a proposal to grant some rights to artificially intelligent systems. The law could make it easier to regulate decision-making by autonomous systems, robots, or driverless cars.”

As I written before, we are entering a period of time where autonomous systems will not just be something you associate with a self-driving taxi or manufacturing plant — there will be autonomous job positions and even companies that will not fit existing regulatory structures. For government agencies, it is critical that you begin to explore what this new future will look like and more importantly, what governments role will be in it.

🤯 Why Businesses and Governments Need to Stop Trying to Secure Their Networks bit.ly/2GndX8k

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This will be a more controversial article this week, but it’s an important topic for agencies to consider with future technology rollouts. The main point of this article is a recommendation for governments and businesses to stop trying to store and operate technology infrastructure on-premise, and as the author states:

Instead of owning everything in your network — which you must defend with firewalls, monitoring agents, event managers, and client managers — in a zero-trust network, all the services an organization needs, including file sharing, collaboration tools, and email, are hosted in the cloud and accessed as a service.

It sounds completely logical because as consumers this is how we store and access our own data — but it goes against the way that government agencies have architected technology in the past (and continue to do so in the present). Many agencies are leveraging the cloud or hybrid-cloud to drive for certain services and individual application use-cases but still, operate many mission-critical services on-premise. Each of those mission-critical services must be secured through a variety of technologies and training — adding up the costs, resources, and time needed to secure and operate the infrastructure. Ultimately, government agencies will need to decide what technology business they want to be in — infrastructure or services — because it will be increasingly difficult to try to be a master of both.

🧠 Smart Cities are Complicated and Costly: Here’s How to Build Them https://hbs.me/2uVek5x

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Smart cities are a major focus area of government agencies across the globe, but unfortunately, many of smart cities initiatives fail to launch any sustainable change and fizzle out after a few years. Why is this? Well, there are many challenges that must be addressed to solve the limitations of current smart cities approaches — including having a pre-defined definition/purpose and losing the technology-centric approach (i.e. deployments of thousands of ‘smart’ sensors)— it’s clear that smart cities need some new direction. The author of this piece thinks that in addition to Public-Private-Partnerships (P3) there are three other lenses we should pay attention to:

I believe public-private partnerships can lead to smarter cities. But a truly smart smart city investment requires looking at three dimensions: characteristics of cities, capital requirements for various initiatives, and the decision-making process. I suggest decision makers in these initiatives follow an analytical sequence of situation, solution, and sovereignty.

I believe these new lenses are helpful, but additional conversation and collaboration between government agencies will be necessary to work through the current smart cities market challenges. In my opinion, it all starts with designing systems around people.

👉 Human-Centered, Systems-Minded Design (SSIR) http://bit.ly/2p9BTBx

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Design-thinking, systems thinking and principles of human-centered design have become a more common practice inside of government agencies across the country. Traditionally leveraged in social systems, we’re also seeing the practice expand to policy design and technology rollouts. This article provides a great overview of some of the tools and methodologies that can be leveraged for human-centered systems design. For government agencies interested in learning more, we’ve created a Government Experience Awards Program and associated methodology for agencies to deploy these approaches into government.

Read the full article on Medium

The rise of a new Fintech regulatory sandbox, an API for your curb, and a facial recognition system that shames jaywalkers — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🚀 FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network https://tcrn.ch/2GlYBxG

👉 Chinese jaywalkers are identified and shamed by facial recognition, and now they’ll get warnings over text message http://bit.ly/2pLZzfu (H/T Clay Pearson)

📊 Measuring the economy with location data http://bit.ly/2pLEGlr

💡 Arizona Becomes First U.S. State To Launch Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech http://bit.ly/2GjmpGE (H/T Michele Hovet)

🔒 Bill de Blasio Announces NYC Secure https://on.nyc.gov/2pRCxVm

🚘 Google Orders Fleet of 20,000 Driverless Jaguars http://bit.ly/2IaQ15r

💼 Rethinking worker benefits for an economy in flux https://brook.gs/2J2pt7P

🏢 After Dominating The Consumer Drone Market, DJI Sets Its Sights On The Business World http://bit.ly/2IkUsL6

💼 The workplace of the future, enabled by AI https://econ.st/2GvVAyn

🛣 This Alphabet-Backed Startup Wants To Innovate Curbs http://bit.ly/2J91qUC

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🚀 FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network https://tcrn.ch/2GlYBxG

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: By gaining FCC approval on their plans, SpaceX has moved closer to building a network of over 4,000 low-earth orbiting satellites to provide Internet access to anywhere on Earth. The approval requires that SpaceX must launch 50 percent of their satellites by March 2024 and the remaining 50% by 2027. For government agencies, connecting rural areas continues to be a major challenge, but the advancement of SpaceX’s plans — as well as the upcoming rollout of 5G wireless infrastructure — is certain to help rural areas leapfrog physical infrastructure requires and gain access to reliable high-speed connectivity.

👉 Chinese jaywalkers are identified and shamed by facial recognition, and now they’ll get warnings over text message http://bit.ly/2pLZzfu (H/T Clay Pearson)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: As privacy expectations continue to be challenged throughout society, citizens in Shenzhen, China, have become a real-life example of some the scary possibilities. By combing a facial recognition database (all individuals staying longer than 30-days must register) and on-street cameras, anyone that jaywalk on a public street will be warned through text messages and eventually have their social credit score docked if the behavior continues. Closer to home, this may seem like a far-fetched reality, but without shared privacy and data-use guidelines, many smart city infrastructures could be easily leveraged to do the exact same thing. It will become increasingly important for agencies to collaborate and adopt strategies for data-use collaboratively with constituents, instead of waiting for the legal landscape to define it through case-law.

📊 Measuring the economy with location data http://bit.ly/2pLEGlr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This article provided a fascinating look at how the startup Thasos is using aggregated, anonymized cell-phone location data from citizens to measure economic data. This type of technology can maintain individual privacy, but continue to enable agencies to extract valuable insights from the collective aggregation of data. We’ve seen similar models with transportation data through companies such as HERE and Inrix. For government agencies, there are two lessons here:

  1. Leveraging pre-existing data and sensors — Rather than deploying new sensors to measure economic progress, leveraging an existing in-field sensor (i.e. cell phone) provides a more scalable model for community sensing. It will be important for government agencies to also have documented data-use policies and explore ways to enable citizens to opt-in to becoming a passive-sensor for their community.
  2. Building privacy in from the ground up — Building a system around abstracting individual identities can help maintain privacy and prevent any misuse from occurring by design.
💡 Arizona Becomes First U.S. State To Launch Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech http://bit.ly/2GjmpGE (H/T Michele Hovet)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Today, government agencies are struggling with the pace of exponential change — technology is moving quicker than the regulatory environment — which leads to major challenges. We saw this early on with the rise of Uber. Many agencies decided to ban or restrict Uber because their operating model didn’t fit into any existing regulatory structure, which created market confusion and ultimately, hurt the local drivers. To prevent this from happening again, agencies need to look at more adaptive regulatory structures and it’s encouraging to see states adopting this mentality through the rise of regulatory sandboxes. As the author says, “The pace of technological change in financial services continues to forge ahead at a sizzling rates that legacy regulatory systems are struggling to keep up with, jurisdictions around the world have moved to establish sandboxes that allow for new products to be deployed on a trial basis in a manner that loosens certain licensing restrictions while still affording consumer protections.” There is no silver bullet on how a regulatory sandbox should be set up, but there are some best practices we can glean from government agencies that have deployed the same model overseas. You can read more about this in a great overview guide [PDF] from Ernst and Young.

🔒 Bill de Blasio Announces NYC Secure https://on.nyc.gov/2pRCxVm

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Cyber attacks are becoming more common — impacting citizens and government agencies alike. Most cybersecurity strategies that have been deployed by agencies are reactive, but what New York City announced this week was a helpful change in the conversation. Rather than just focusing on cybersecurity internally, they are launching an initiative geared at protecting citizens through a new mobile app. Why is this? My theory is that NYC is making each citizen a cyber-sniffing sensor to making the entire community smarter, including the City of New York. They’re also doing this with individual data privacy in mind, “The City-sponsored app will equip mobile devices with the technology needed to analyze threats while operating under a strict privacy policy and layers of technical controls that ensure user privacy is respected. The app works without accessing any personally identifiable information, and will not collect or transmit any private data.” For government agencies, NYC’s proactive approach to cybersecurity is one to take note of because the greatest cybersecurity challenges we are to face will undeniably happen at the local level to start.

🚘 Google Orders Fleet of 20,000 Driverless Jaguars http://bit.ly/2IaQ15r

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Our transit system is going through a radical transformation. In a short time, we’ve seen the rise of ride-sharing, smart transit networks, autonomous vehicles and much more. The end-game for our transit system will be the evolution from people-enabled to AI-enabled fulfillment and this autonomous transportation race is starting to heat up. Uber is betting big on it and now Waymo has made their intentions clear with an order of 20,000 autonomous Jaguar vehicles. For government agencies, the challenge will be how to ensure and maintain safety in this era of rapid change, because in a short time we’ve seen the good and the bad of what this new technology has to offer.

💼 Rethinking worker benefits for an economy in flux https://brook.gs/2J2pt7P

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a good read that reiterated the importance of changing the worker benefit model. Today, 53 million Americans, roughly 34% of the workforce, is freelancing — earning money through a task or gig-based engagements. The rise of these task-based engagements is quickly redefining the definition of work as we know it. As a result, we must find creative solutions to make worker benefits accessible to employees that do not fit the traditional full-time (W-2) bucket. The legislation, such as what Mark Warner put forward, is a good step but more effort is required as more employees are opting for more flexible work arrangements. For government agencies, this is a good reminder that your prospective employee base may not come through the standard channels, or be standard employees. Rather, we have to acknowledge that some of our best employees may not work for us directly in the future.

🏢 After Dominating The Consumer Drone Market, DJI Sets Its Sights On The Business World http://bit.ly/2IkUsL6

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: DJI has had great success in the consumer market, and many of their consumer devices are also being used in government as well. As a result, they are now focused on making their drones a platform for business through the launch of their Payload SDK. The Payload SDK enables organizations to use third-party sensors and cameras on DJI drones. For government agencies, the opening up of software and hardware add-ons will enable drones to have their “app store” moment and hopefully, create an abundance of new government apps and add-ons to tackle new use-cases. In addition, this move by DJI open the door to interoperability with the growing FirstNet ecosystem.

Read the full article on Medium

Google gets into the blockchain, Watson enters your home and car, and the rise of autonomous cybersecurity— This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

📄 NIST Report on Blockchain Technology Aims to Go Beyond the Hype http://bit.ly/2Gkod1h (H/T Urban.Us)

🤖 JASK and the future of autonomous cybersecurity https://tcrn.ch/2HYHRNi

🤯 What Will Our Society Look Like When Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere? http://bit.ly/2DJ6yLp

🚙 IBM’s Watson-based voice assistant is coming to cars and smart homes http://engt.co/2FNnIxc

💡 Google Is Working on Its Own Blockchain-Related Technology https://bloom.bg/2GpfJGb

🔎 IBM has created a computer smaller than a grain of salt http://on.mash.to/2GFEA69

⚠️ Next Steps After Russian Attacks on U.S. Critical Infrastructure http://bit.ly/2G90vVO

😠 This Call May Be Monitored for Tone and Emotion http://bit.ly/2G5OzUx

⁉️ Is Your Company Ready For AI? Ask Yourself These Nine Questions http://bit.ly/2u44iyK

🔒 How Smart Home Lock-In Imprisons You, And Why That Might Change http://bit.ly/2HP2r2H

👉 Bonus — First look at our gov tech market year in review for 2017 and projections for the remainder of 2018 —https://www.beautiful.ai/deck/-L8D903cr4cblzOlt6Ju/State-of-Gov-Tech-2017

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

📄 NIST Report on Blockchain Technology Aims to Go Beyond the Hype http://bit.ly/2Gkod1h (H/T Urban.Us)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: For those of you interested in the potential for blockchain to be used in the public sector, this new NIST report provides a deep dive (almost 60 pages worth) into the core technology and potential use-cases. There is no doubt that the blockchain has major applicability in the public sector, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a silver bullet to our infrastructure, data and transactional problems in government. For government agencies interested in learning more about the technology I encourage you to read the NIST report, look at Deloitte’s research on blockchain in the public sector, and follow the State of Illinois Blockchain Initiative.

🤖 JASK and the future of autonomous cybersecurity https://tcrn.ch/2HYHRNi

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting read that provides a glimpse of the future of autonomous cybersecurity through a new startup called JASK. Cyber attacks today are mostly conducting through large semi-autonomous botnets and automated scripting, but defense is often a manual process that requires vast human hours of analyzing potential threats. JASK uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to augment security analyst by consolidating and grouping multiple streams of information — but eventually, full-automation. In my opinion, the role of government cybersecurity staff will morph into that of a coaching staff — and the players they are coaching will be autonomous bots and software-defined roles. Sound crazy? One city — Long Beach, California — is already preparing for this future by skipping hiring a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and going directly to a Cyber Risk Officer, whose job it is to mitigate risk and coordinate a software-defined CISO. For government agencies, the rise of software-defined positions will create changes in the workforce, shifting some employees into new coaching-like roles, but in the end, increasing satisfaction and productivity across the board.

🤯 What Will Our Society Look Like When Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere? http://bit.ly/2DJ6yLp

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a fun read that illustrated one view at an AI-infused society and the challenges and new behaviors that emerged from it. Although I don’t foresee all of the predictions becoming a reality, it’s a good exercise to think about the multiple possible futures — something my futurist friends at SXSW trained mayors how to do — so that you can better dictate the future you want. For government agencies, understanding and preparing for the societal implications of AI is vital because the changes will be quick — and hit the hardest at the state and local levels of government.

🚙 IBM’s Watson-based voice assistant is coming to cars and smart homes http://engt.co/2FNnIxc

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: At IBM’s Think 2018 conference, IBM announced Watson Assistant — an extension of IBM’s Watson to the consumer space, similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. The most important thing about this announcement is that Watson Assistant is not tied to a specific piece of hardware, so it can be embedded into a variety of experiences and channels by hardware manufacturers and software creators alike. For government agencies, as voice assistants continue to increase in consumer adoption it will be important to follow their development and plan eventual implementation as their development platforms mature. It is also worth noting many agencies have already begun implementing voice assistant technologies, but each of these is it’s own skill or voice app, separate from the rest. With 90,000 government agencies in the United States, that is an unsustainable amount of individual voice assistants. In the future, I believe a single voice skill will be able to identify and query the relevant government application programming interface (API) for each agency in the right context of the ask, but there is much work to be done to lay a foundation for doing it (federated identity management, shared data standards, etc.).

💡 Google Is Working on Its Own Blockchain-Related Technology https://bloom.bg/2GpfJGb

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Google is continuing to work on its own blockchain technology for the Google cloud. In 2016, it was announced that Google was piloting blockchain technologies with developers, and now two years later — development is still ongoing and progressing. Google’s use and eventually deployment of blockchain technologies is fascinating because of the vast amount of data and services Google powers. For government agencies, this article validates that eventual public sector blockchain use-cases will be ushered in by the large platform companies with the resources to democratize development. I often equate blockchain today to MS-DOS prior to the graphical user-interface — it was a powerful technology that was one barrier away from mass-utilization. For those interested in learning more about blockchain in government, I’ve aggregated some links here.

🔎 IBM has created a computer smaller than a grain of salt http://on.mash.to/2GFEA69

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Also at IBM’s Think 2018 conference, a new computer prototype was unveiled that is smaller than a grain of salt and could literally be put anywhere. Although the specs of this computer are equivalent to 1990s processor, that is still powerful enough to do major processing for small Internet-of-Things devices. For government agencies, it’s important to note a recent shift in how IoT devices are leveraged — for the longest time, we envisioned putting Internet-enabled sensors at the edge of networks that would leverage a centralized cloud to do their computing. Today, advancements like IBM’s announcement are enabling more processing to be done on small internet-enabled devices at the edge of networks — making the network more resilient and intelligent. This also makes these devices more susceptible to being targeted by hackers to power bot-nets of the future.

⚠️ Next Steps After Russian Attacks on U.S. Critical Infrastructure http://bit.ly/2G90vVO

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Last week we looked at how the US-CERT warned mission-critical infrastructure agencies about Russian attempts to infiltrate their IT environments, and this week we look at Dan Lohrmann’s recommendations to GovTech.com on how agencies should respond (as well as a great breakdown of events leading up to the US-CERT notice). For government agencies interested in how to respond to these new threats, Lohrmann recommends the following tactics:

  1. Read the US-CERT Alert issued this past week
  2. Work with owners/operators on coordinated plans
  3. Test your government plans with private-sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure.
😠 This Call May Be Monitored for Tone and Emotion http://bit.ly/2G5OzUx

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting look at how call-centers are applying voice-analysis algorithms to understand worker and caller emotion in almost real-time. MetLife is using the technology to provide a better experience for customers by augmenting their call-center employees with response recommendations based on customer emotions. For government agencies, there are opportunities to leverage the technology in a similar manner to enhance the effectiveness of 311 calls and much more. One thing to keep in mind is making sure constituents understand how the technology is being used and what happens to their interaction data afterward.

⁉️ Is Your Company Ready For AI? Ask Yourself These Nine Questions http://bit.ly/2u44iyK

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: One of the most talked about technologies today inside and outside of government is artificial intelligence (AI). In a recent study we conducted at the Center for Digital Government, we found 52% of counties and 37% of cities said they are currently using AI technologies in their operations. For those respondents that are not using it, 21% of counties and 27% of cities plan on using AI in the near future. For government agencies, AI can help solve major challenges but it can also be an expensive shiny object if it’s not applied properly. These nine questions, although constructed towards a private-sector company, are also good ones to think about as you explore how and when to apply AI in your agency.

🔒 How Smart Home Lock-In Imprisons You, And Why That Might Change http://bit.ly/2HP2r2H

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The author of this piece hit the proverbial nail, The tech giants’ current approach to smart homes is a lot like the one they took with mobile devices a decade ago. Instead of championing interoperability, companies created their own platforms, each with their own set of tools that allowed developers to build apps. Instead of the open web, we got a bunch of separate app stores.” Meaning that the standards war with smart homes and the Internet of Things is having a VHS and Betamax moment, only this time it’s impacting far more than our entertainment systems. There are numerous organizations trying to solve this gap including the Open Connectivity Foundation, the NICE Alliance and even companies like Mozilla. Unfortunately, these non-profit approaches are also fragmented. For government agencies, I have two recommendations:

  1. Don’t neglect consumer IoT — Many agencies I have spoken with are only focused on enterprise IoT systems (SCADA, etc.), but fail to see the risk of a consumer IoT not having standards. The lines between enterprise and consumer IoT are blurring and will eventually go away, so don’t treat them as separate things. Remember, the last major infrastructure attack on the Internet was fueled by hacked consumer devices, it wouldn’t be hard for them to point those devices at a piece of government-run mission-critical infrastructure.
  2. Force a standards conversation — We have to move beyond the industry standards fragmentation we have today, so government agencies (at all levels) need to look for opportunities to convene industry together to work out shared standards and frameworks that move beyond just a conceptual framework stuck in a PDF.

Read the full article on Medium

Alexa enters the enterprise, a house was 3D-printed in less than 24 hours and my takeaways from SXSW — This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

💼 Amazon’s Alexa is coming to the office http://bit.ly/2FMi9OQ

🏡 You can now 3D-print a house in under a day http://bit.ly/2FvNYfA

😲 The Big Changes Ahead for Boomer Workers http://bit.ly/2pjVSi1 (H/T Daniel Charboneau)

👏 Your next computer could improve with age http://bit.ly/2tCjuTC

⚠️ State-Sponsored Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors http://bit.ly/2GwQrU3

⚖️ Robots are shifting income from workers to owners http://bit.ly/2tSsOmu

💡 Can Apprenticeships Train the Workforce of the Future? States Hope So. http://bit.ly/2FB3SB2

I was at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas this week with ourGoverning team and have included three of my articles from the conference in this week’s rundown -

🏢 SXSW 2018: Meet the 6 Gov Tech Startup Finalists That Pitched Mayors at SXSW http://bit.ly/2HDpayQ

🚙 SXSW 2018: Why emulating a self-driving car might be the best way to plan for them http://bit.ly/2Gm2MdO

🔮 SXSW 2018 — The Year of the Mayor as a Futurist? http://bit.ly/2FMAYRZ

👉 You can check out Governing’s full coverage of SXSW at http://www.governing.com/sxsw and hear our perspectives on the Go Public Podcast.

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

💼 Amazon’s Alexa is coming to the office http://bit.ly/2FMi9OQ

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Get ready because Amazon is bringing their popular consumer voice assistant into the enterprise. 39 million Americans already own a smart speaker, so an enterprise expansion is not too surprising at this point. Some government agencies have already been using voice assistants for constituent access, but there is even more opportunity for to use voice assistants to augment existing employees and unlock vast troves of data.

  1. Existing employee augmentation— Existing employees can query Alexa for questions that would normally require talking to someone else or searching through records. (i.e., When did we pass the parking ordinance? What day did John Doe open his water account? etc. )
  2. Unlock data — Government agencies at all levels have unlocked massive amounts of open data, traditional through dedicated open data portals, but the use of a voice assistant can make this data easier to navigate and consume for government employees and constituents.

A few things to remember, the enterprise data silos and lack of data standards will cause the government data queried and interfaced with via voice to be limited at the beginning — and privacy concerns will continue to pose a challenge with devices that ‘always listen.’

🏡 You can now 3D-print a house in under a day http://bit.ly/2FvNYfA

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: South by Southwest is an annual conference, more like an experience, where radical ideas are giving a spotlight. One of the radical ideas this year was to test the possibility of 3D-printing a house in less than a day by the company New Story. 24-hours, $4,000 and 800 square-feet later, the concrete 3D-printed house was completed — windows (which were added by humans), doors and all. The goal of New Story is to “to create a world where no human being lives in survival mode.” For government agencies, homelessness is a major problem that many ideas are currently being tested to address, and this technology might just provide a vehicle with the capacity and scale to address it globally.

 

😲 The Big Changes Ahead for Boomer Workers http://bit.ly/2pjVSi1 (H/T Daniel Charboneau)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In one of the most intriguing reads of the week, this article helped provide a look at how older workers are going to play an increasingly important part of the workforce even as they get near a traditional retirement age. Based on recent research from Bain & Company, the author explains that with a “winding down” supply of workers, more employers are going to look to hang on to older employees longer. Add to that, disruptive technologies giving rise to task-based or freelance worker — and there is a perfect storm of opportunity for older workers to also leverage flexible work arrangements that have made companies like Uber and Lyft so powerful. For government agencies, there will be major changes in public sector workforce — from available employees to required skills — which will require new models to keep up. This just might be a good starting point.

👏 Your next computer could improve with age http://bit.ly/2tCjuTC

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: It may be time to stop worrying about your devices being slowed down by the manufacturers because the rise of artificial intelligence is given our existing hardware new capabilities and efficiency gains. We’ve actually already seen elements of this happening todaystarting with our vehicles. When the Tesla Model S was rolled out it could not drive you to work by itself, but through an over-the-air software update (dubbed Autopilot) it suddenly gained the functionality to. And years later, the use of machine learning has made the autopilot system smarter and more efficient, without the need for physically replacing your Tesla each year. Software has the ability to give our hardware new capabilities — without having to physically replace or upgrade it — and this era of innovation is just beginning. For government agencies, these changes make it harder to adapt our regulations (because change is exponential), but as users of the same technology — we can also extract benefits from new software giving our deployed technology new life.

⚠️ State-Sponsored Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors http://bit.ly/2GwQrU3

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: State-sponsored attacks on mission-critical infrastructure in the United States has been a known occurrence for years, but in a first, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) issued an official joint FBI/DHS Technical Alert (TA) notifying operators of critical infrastructure facilities of a Russian multi-stage campaign targeting their facilities. For government agencies, this campaign was not just targeting large federal facilities — it also involved targeting smaller water, aviation, energy and commercial facilities as well. The apparent aim of the attacks involved “network reconnaissance and…information pertaining to Industrial Control Systems (ICS).” The technical alert provides a full breakdown of how the attacks have been constructed as well as tactics that can be used to mitigate.

⚖️ Robots are shifting income from workers to owners http://bit.ly/2tSsOmu

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: As automation continues to impact the workplace, there have been constant debates about the who ultimately benefits from the increase in productivity. This particular study was an interesting look at one viewpoint that “automation is redistributing income from workers to owners.” For state and local government agencies, if the author’s perspective continues to show true, this will significantly alter your communities and the way you’ll need to approach economic development.

I think one example to illustrate this potential can be seen with taxi cabs. In the past, to drive a cab you would traditionally ‘lease’ a car from a taxi cab company (with the licensed ability to operate within a market) and you monetized the asset from the owner and made your income from the difference. Then came along Uber and Lyft, letting almost anyone take their own vehicle asset and monetize it — which is where we are today. But what about self-driving cars? Many ride-sharing companies are currently ramping up their capabilities and fleets to go the self-driving route in the next few years. When self-driving cars replace traditional ride-share drivers, the model looks more like where it started but with an even widen gap — because an owner that has the means and control of self-driving assets won’t need a human in order to monetize it.

If you don’t have time to read the full paper, you can watch a 5-minute recap video prepared by the authors.

💡 Can Apprenticeships Train the Workforce of the Future? States Hope So. http://bit.ly/2FB3SB2

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a fascinating read from my colleague at GoverningJ.B. Wogan, on the potential for apprenticeships to train the workforce of the future. J.B. rightly makes the case that the mismatch between available jobs and those that are unemployed comes down to a skills mismatch. Current strategies to address this mismatch haven’t been effective, but some agencies are starting to use apprenticeships as a new, more sustainable method to bridge the divide. J.B. is also right in that in order to solve this problem, we’re going to have to shift our mindset completely, “The apprenticeship model calls for a paradigm shift. For decades, public workforce agencies have trained residents, hoping that private-sector employers will then hire them. With apprenticeships, the employers come to government, identify the shortages they have and the skills they need; government then works with schools or training facilities to meet those demands. States can offer job training vouchers to subsidize wages and cover some training expenses, but once companies believe in the value of the model, they often have the ability to cover those costs…The relationship between government workforce agencies and companies is “an active collaboration as opposed to a warm handoff.” For government agencies, we’re going to need to continue to explore and test models like apprenticeships to incubate talent for the workforce of tomorrow.

For those interested in nurturing their existing workforce, ITIF released a report on How to Reform Worker-Training and Adjustment Policies for an Era of Technology Change.

🏢 SXSW 2018: Meet the 6 Gov Tech Startup Finalists That Pitched Mayors at SXSW http://bit.ly/2HDpayQ

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Startups play an important part of the growing government technology ecosystem, and this year six gov tech startups (Three of which were GovTech 100 companies for 2018) were able to pitch the mayors assembled at SXSW on their respective technologies for a chance to win funding and exposure. The winning startup, Biobot Analytics, analyzes raw sewerage to identify and track opioid usage for cities so that they can tailor their strategies to the actual opioid usage in their communities.

Read the full article on Medium

Universal basic assets, a new report on AI in government and utilities begin paying their customers to buy electric vehicles — This Week’s 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

🏠 To fix income inequality, we need more than UBI — we need Universal Basic Assets. Read her full perspective at — http://bit.ly/2oXgvAc

💡 10 bold ideas that could drive big changes in state government. http://bit.ly/2GfANMG (H/T William Eggers)

🤖 Artificial Intelligence for the Real World http://ow.ly/Fch030iR4Hh (H/T Bill Schrier)

🗺 The race to build a self-driving car, charted http://bit.ly/2oLgxeD

⛵️ Fleet of sailboat drones could monitor climate change’s effect on oceans http://bit.ly/2Db4KdK

💼 This AI Tool Makes Job Descriptions More Inclusive http://bit.ly/2HrSubt

🤔 Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government: Challenges and Opportunities http://ow.ly/ueJc30iFV13

💰 Utilities are paying their customers to buy electric vehicles http://bit.ly/2G6Nauz

🖍 Drawing Outside the District Lines- Putting algorithms in charge of redistricting could fix gerrymandering. http://bit.ly/2oWshdr

🌎 Seven Technologies Remaking The World http://bit.ly/2FtPz5z

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🏠 To fix income inequality, we need more than UBI — we need Universal Basic Assets. Read her full perspective at — http://bit.ly/2oXgvAc

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This week I’ve been at SXSW in Austin, Texas for Civic I/O — a dedicated track of programming just for U.S. mayors attending SXSW. This year, Civic I/O brought in IFTF to help educate mayors on how to think like futurists and also to share some ideas of their own. IFTF’s Executive Director, Marina Gorbis, shared her own thoughts on something called Universal Basic Assets — a fascinating concept that entailed moving our focus from creating a universal basic income to something more inclusive and empowering — assets. This article is an expanded view of the perspective she shared at SXSW. For government agencies, there are quite a few experiments around UBI today — but this concept is one that I would seriously take into consideration for how to approach UBI going forward.

💡 10 bold ideas that could drive big changes in state government. http://bit.ly/2GfANMG (H/T William Eggers)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: I love new ideas — and William Eggersand his co-author Mark Price put together some great ideas and plays for state government agencies interested in driving change and innovation. For many agencies, identifying practical places to innovate can pose a challenge but these plays serve as a simple starting point and way to build a capacity for additional innovations going forward. For added help, you can see what other states are prioritizing in 2018 and share your digital innovations through the new ITIF Government Digital Transformation Exchange.

🤖 Artificial Intelligence for the Real World http://ow.ly/Fch030iR4Hh (H/T Bill Schrier)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This recent study of 152 cognitive projects helped provide a realistic look at where cognitive technologies are actually being used in organizations today.

 

Artificial Intelligence for the Real World

The results — The highest usage is primarily on backend processes through robotic process automation (RPA). This isn’t too surprising because these cognitive processes are simply emulating a standard worker through a standard workflow — it’s just automated.

For government agencies, these results provide a good look at the infancy of the technology and it’s applicability today, but I thought it was also helpful to point out what corporate executives saw as the primary benefits to AI and cognitive processes in the table below.

 

Deloitte 2017

🗺 The race to build a self-driving car, charted http://bit.ly/2oLgxeD

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great look the state of self-driving vehicles testing in California — the clear early winner, Waymo. Here were my main takeaways from the reporting:

  1. We measure self-driving progress by the number of miles per disengagement (meaning when a human has to take over) —This was a new reporting metric for me, but it does provides a lens on self-driving technology effectiveness that you cannot get through other data points. The chart below shows Waymo achieved significantly more distance on average without human intervention. This may also explain why Waymo is getting into transporting cargo now.

 

Date: California DMV, ATLAS

2. Self-driving technology is getting much better — and quickly! Quartzdid some serious data mining but showed that the self-driving technology is improving rapidly. Below is a chart that shows the average number of miles driven per disengagement in 2017, almost every company saw significant gains in performance.

 

⛵️ Fleet of sailboat drones could monitor climate change’s effect on oceans http://bit.ly/2Db4KdK

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Designed to replace buoys and legacy fixed-sensors, there is a new experiment currently underway where autonomous sailboat drones could be used to more effectively monitor weather and other environmental statistics. For government agencies, the rise of low-cost edge computing along with the availability of high-speed wireless internet connectivity has enabled new low-cost use-cases that would have been far out of reach in the past. Expect to see more state and local government agencies experiment with low-cost edge sensors, such as what the LCRA is doing with its Hydromet project in Austin, Texas.

💼 This AI Tool Makes Job Descriptions More Inclusive http://bit.ly/2HrSubt

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: We’ve seen lots of AI use-cases emerge in government, but this was one in an adjacent industry that has significant applicability in the public sector as well — using AI to make more effective and inclusive job descriptions. The startup, Textio, scores your hiring language for skill and diversity alignment and provides suggested keywords and editing guidance to optimize your hiring strategy for the ideal candidate. For government agencies, there are a number of technologies leveraged to automate or streamline the hiring process, but it is interesting to consider technology also can be leveraged to augment hiring managers and their teams to optimize diversity and inclusion.

🤔 Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government: Challenges and Opportunities http://ow.ly/ueJc30iFV13

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an excellent guide crafted by Kevin Desouza on how government agencies should plan, build and deploy artificial intelligence solutions across three domains: technology and data, workforce, and risk management. Desouza also clearly denotes the challenges, such as legacy information technology, that need to be overcome for government agencies to realize the full potential of AI. One of my favorite aspects of Desouza’s research was the government AI maturity model that begins on page 41 of the reportMaturity models provide a great lens for government agencies to understand the bigger picture and benchmark a technology’s utilization and impact.

💰 Utilities are paying their customers to buy electric vehicles http://bit.ly/2G6Nauz

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: As the demand for electricity has plateaued, electric utilities have begun to explore new ways to reinvent their models to increase utilization. One such utility, Southern California Edison, is currently offering a $10,000 incentive along with BMW for the purchase of an electric BMW i3 or i3s to try to boost demand (and of course help meet California clean energy goals). The takeaway for government agencies is that we’ve entered a period in time where existing models of delivery, such as public transit, are going through periods of uncertainty driving by exponential changes in behavior and technology. Innovative agencies are finding ways to experiment with reinventing their business models, including by embracing some of the models that are seeking to disrupt them.

🖍 Drawing Outside the District Lines- Putting algorithms in charge of redistricting could fix gerrymandering. http://bit.ly/2oWshdr

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting idea from Daniel Castro of ITIF about how technology — specifically algorithms — could be used to fix the historical gerrymandering issues that have plagued the political landscape. Castro said rather than relying on manual human district design, “states could also try to simply eliminate human bias by using algorithms to design their maps. Algorithms can be designed to optimize features desirable for voting districts, such as compactness, and minimize undesirable characteristics, such as splitting neighborhoods.” For government agencies, algorithms have the ability to help augment roles, but we must ensure that we design systems to prevent existing human bias from defining our algorithm-enabled future.

🌎 Seven Technologies Remaking The World http://bit.ly/2FtPz5z

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: MITSloan Mgmt Review recently published an interesting list of seven technologies remaking the world. This list is designed to serve as a guide for executives to the technologies that are reshaping every industry and aspect of our lives. For government agencies, this guide provides another helpful lens — including the what, why and where — on the key technologies that we’ve seen emerge on other lists over the previous few weeks.

Read the full article on Medium

AI realtors, car subscriptions and exploring what comes after mobile apps — This Week’s 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for the public sector. Let’s dive into this week’s reads —

The Articles —

Out of over 100 articles, here are the top 10 that stood out this week:

📙 AI will write a best-seller by 2049, experts predict http://bit.ly/2F76AOB

🏡 Why Your Next Real-Estate Deal Might Involve a Robot http://on.wsj.com/2FLa1vs

📉 Why Best Practices Often Fall Short http://bit.ly/2oP41Kd

🚗 Your Next Car Might Be A Subscription http://bit.ly/2oC34W5

🤳 The Smarter Phone: How AI-enabled devices will reshape the Technology, Media and Telecoms Industry [PDF] https://pwc.to/2EVhpTM

⚠️ Automobiles changed the world, but also led to unforeseen harm. The same might happen with driverless cars http://econ.st/2FeLeTm

🤖 A roadmap for AI: 10 ways governments will change (and what they risk getting wrong) http://bit.ly/2HSA5Fx (H/T Clay Pearson)

😲 California Scraps Safety Driver Rules for Self-Driving Cars http://nyti.ms/2ou2PMP

🗺 A New, Democratic Tool for Mapping City Streets http://theatln.tc/2GLFqNv

📱 Mobility on Demand: Three Key Components http://bit.ly/2FeLvFS

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

📙 AI will write a best-seller by 2049, experts predict http://bit.ly/2F76AOB

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an intriguing look at some projected major milestones of artificial intelligence by AI experts throughout the world.

 

Stefan Hall, World Economic Forum.

My perspective is that these timelines should be collapsed significantly. Heck, the use of AI has already won a literally prize — so we’re getting closer to a bestseller. For government agencies, although you may not use AI to write a bestseller, you will leverage it to solve complex problems and better serve constituents. If you’re interested in keeping up with the development and reality of AI today, check out this report card Stanford created to benchmark progress each year.

🏡 Why Your Next Real-Estate Deal Might Involve a Robot http://on.wsj.com/2FLa1vs

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: We’ve seen deputized and lawyer botsand it seems the next title impacted may be that of the realtor. This article highlighted how chatbots were being used to interface with clients, answer questions from prospective buyers and develop virtual tours of properties. These capabilities won’t eliminate the need for a realtor, but they will augment your realtor to give them better scale and availability. For government agencies, there are many lessons that can be extracted from these real-estate bots because the complexity of the environment they operate in is similar to the public sector landscape.

📉 Why Best Practices Often Fall Short http://bit.ly/2oP41Kd

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: We often evaluate decisions based on best practices — whether they are our own or industry-specific — these best practices often serve as justification for implementing new processes or system change. This was a fascinating read that discussed why best practices often fall short and sometimes can hurt your organization. The author makes three main points, which I’ve summarized below:

  1. Evaluate the fit — Ensure the best practice you are looking at is from an agency of similar size, structure, and purpose. Comparing similarity is not a silver bullet for success but it is a good way to assess the scale of impact.
  2. Understand the hidden cost of following the best practice — are there transition costs or people costs that will happen as a result? Work with your team to map out the true cost of implementation, including reskilling employees on a new process.
  3. Don’t go overboard — It’s easy to find best practices online and in editorial but that doesn’t mean you should implement them all. Set realistic goals and expectations as you look at the implementation.
🚗 Your Next Car Might Be A Subscription http://bit.ly/2oC34W5

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In our on-demand world, traditional asset ownership is constantly being challenged and a car subscription just might be the next major shift in the place of owning or leasing. Companies like Volvo, are piloting new subscription models that give you the flexibility of an on-demand car service without the hassle of a longterm lease or uncertainty of availability. This model could also enable users to pick different vehicles throughout the subscription. For example, imagine picking a truck during a month you plan to move, a sports car during the summer and all-wheel-drive vehicle during the winter. Subscription models will enable users to customize their vehicle selections based on their needs. For government agencies, we must be able to plan our infrastructure and operating models for these shifts in behavior. For example, having a people switch vehicles throughout the year may rethinking toll transponders or parking lot subscriptions.

🤳 The Smarter Phone: How AI-enabled devices will reshape the Technology, Media and Telecoms Industry [PDF] https://pwc.to/2EVhpTM

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: PWC put out a great report highlighting ways that AI-enabled devices will reshape technology, media and telecom industries. A key takeaway for me from the report was that AI-enabled devices may lead to the eventual decline or demise of the app store model as we know it. For example, there are over 90,000 local government agencies in the United States — an AI-enabled voice service could easily take the place of 90,000 native websites and mobile apps through a single, unified experience. As AI capabilities become increasingly available on mobile devices — they will lead to new behavior shifts. And it’s coming quicker than we think.

 

Center for Digital Government

⚠️ Automobiles changed the world, but also led to unforeseen harm. The same might happen with driverless cars http://econ.st/2FeLeTm

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The pace of self-driving car development continues to exponentially increase, and although many city leaders are deploying programs to incubate the technology in their communities — there are many other issues that should be considered —

Autonomous vehicles offer passengers freedom from accidents, pollution, congestion and the bother of trying to find a parking space. But they will require other freedoms to be given up in return — especially the ability to drive your own vehicle anywhere. Choices about who can go where, when and how are inescapably political in nature.

For government agencies, the rise of autonomous vehicle infrastructure has the potential to discriminate against low-income and disconnected individuals, so it will be important for cities leaders to ensure that this new infrastructure is accessible for everyone — regardless of income, location, etc.

🤖 A roadmap for AI: 10 ways governments will change (and what they risk getting wrong) http://bit.ly/2HSA5Fx(H/T Clay Pearson)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: There is no doubt that public and private sector organizations have a deep fascination with Artificial Intelligence (AI) today. We’ve seen countless examples of government implementing elements of AI today, but this was a great read to cut through some of the promises of AI with the reality of how government agencies can will get value in the short-term. The biggest takeaway for government agencies is that AI will fundamentally change the experience that people have with government in the near future — by creating new opportunities for citizens to interface with government (think DoNotPay available across all government domains) and for government to personalize their individual experience. Something we’ve been working to frame through our Government Experience Program at the Center for Digital Government.

Read the full article on Medium