The rise of government chatbots, Uber ambulances and cryptojacking— This Week’s 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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 —

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The Articles —

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

🤖 Meet The City of El Paso’s Chatbot, Ask Laura. http://bit.ly/2oXMSRJ

👀 The Hidden Human Workforce Powering Machine Intelligence http://bit.ly/2Dp8wkW

🖋 How soon will computers replace The Economist’s writers? http://econ.st/2CPmnjG

🚑 Uber’s Impact on Ambulance Usage http://bit.ly/2ABRvCt

🌎 This year the world woke up to the society-shifting power of artificial intelligence http://bit.ly/2oLgJwC

📸 Magic Leap shows off its Magic Leap One ‘Creator’s Edition’ AR headset, shipping in 2018 http://tcrn.ch/2p0OtGG

🤑 Where VC’s Will Invest in 2018: Blockchain, AI, Voice, Pets http://bit.ly/2oXOcUF

📱 Apple will reportedly unify iOS and macOS apps in 2018 http://bit.ly/2BQxYSJ

🔮 These Technologies Will Shape The Future, According To One Of Silicon Valley’s Top VC Firms https://t.co/aPkmT1iGbk

🤐 Is Your Computer Secretly Mining Bitcoin Alternatives? A Guide to ‘Cryptojacking’ http://bit.ly/2l0WRAD

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:

🤖 Meet The City of El Paso’s Chatbot, Ask Laura. http://bit.ly/2oXMSRJ

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: It’s great to see agencies focusing on enabling a better government experience through a variety of emerging technologies — including chatbots. We have seen dozens of government agencies leveraging chatbots for everything from IT helpdesk tickets to connecting computer-less immigrants to city services from AppCityLife. The challenge (and opportunity) will be finding a way to connecting all these separate bots together rather than each agency leveraging a bot with a silo’d database.

👀 The Hidden Human Workforce Powering Machine Intelligence http://bit.ly/2Dp8wkW

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This read provided a good reminder that machine learning current (and will continue) to require a variety of human labor to continue to train software on new use-cases as well as complete tasks that machines still struggle with. Government agencies need to understand that using machine learning and artificial intelligence is not as simple as just signing up to an online service — there is and will continue to remain a level of human involvement that needs to be factored into the training and feedback loops.

🖋 How soon will computers replace The Economist’s writers? http://econ.st/2CPmnjG

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The Economist put machine learning to work to write an article this week and the results indicated we still have some time before computers become more proficient at the more creative work. For government, this is an early look at a future where open data portals feed automated editorial bots that extract, analyze and summarize (with the preprogrammed human bias) the data. Now imagine all of those tasks being completed in minutes compared to the days and weeks of a traditional investigative reporter — this is the future, and it’s coming.

🚑 Uber’s Impact on Ambulance Usage http://bit.ly/2ABRvCt

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a fascinating study that indicated how ridesharing services like Uber, are reducing ambulance usage in certain areas (and for certain injuries). The lesson here for government needs to look to some of these emerging, and often perceived disruptive, companies as an extension of existing ways of doing things. A county in Michigan realized this and piloted using Uber as a way to get people to show up to jury duty — imagine what else it can do.

🌎 This year the world woke up to the society-shifting power of artificial intelligence http://bit.ly/2oLgJwC

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In 2017, Artificial intelligence (AI) broke from scientific journals and sci-fi movies into the mainstream media. As a result numerous organizations emerged to study and control the development of AI. For government agencies, AI has not had it’s Uber moment yet (a comparison of the way Uber unstoppably rolled out across the globe), but it will. It won’t lead to killer robots any time soon, but it will lead to smarter applications that take the place of government and interface with government like DoNotPay. I see this as an opportunity for government to find proactive ways to partner with the private-sector and other agencies to build meaningful experiences with the technology.

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