As government leaders look to the future, it’s impossible to ignore what agencies may be able to achieve with AI. Early adoptions of chatbots and natural language processing are allowing call centers to more efficiently serve citizens, and IT departments are protecting systems and data against cyberattacks with software that increasingly includes AI.

State CIOs see near-term opportunities for AI as well as longer term opportunities. CIOs understand AI is likely to play an important role in modernizing the delivery of citizen services and furthering government modernization and IT transformation. But the question remains, how do they separate the potential of AI from the hype for one of today’s hottest technologies?

Answers to this question surfaced in a survey conducted by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the Center for Digital Government and IBM. Based on responses from 45 states, “Delivering on Digital Government: Achieving the Promise of Artificial Intelligence,” shows that state CIOs are taking an eyes-open approach toward AI and organizational, cultural, ethical and technological concerns.

Topping the list of challenges is the need to overcome the restrictions of legacy IT infrastructure. In addition, respondents cited a lack of staff skills and gaps in data governance policies. On the other hand, the momentum lies with the realization that the capabilities of AI offer the potential for fundamental changes in government:

· Fifty-five percent of the surveyed states are actively pursuing AI with proofs of concepts, evaluating requirements and issuing requests for information.

· Thirty-two percent of states are now running AI in some production operations or staging pilot projects.

· Forty-nine percent of survey respondents see AI has a powerful tool to analyze large volumes of new and existing information collected across state departments and agencies.*

AI will have a profound impact – enabling governments to become intelligent enterprises* and provide higher-quality services faster and more efficiently. We encourage you watch this webinar, where you can learn more about the key challenges faced by survey participants, what states are doing to overcome them, and the best practices and recommendations to reap the rewards of AI.

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*See Gartner’s comments on IBM Magic Quadrant leadership for AI Insight engines.