Federal agencies are placing a higher priority on providing AI training to their workforces with a focus on principles of transparency and accountability, officials announced at ATARC’s GITEC conference in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier. Gov Agencies AI Workforce Challenges.

Alexis Bonnell, Air Force Research Laboratory CIO and Director of the Digital Capabilities Directorate, emphasized the importance of upholding existing ethics standards rather than creating new ones. She stressed that agencies need to exercise the ethical principles they have always been expected to follow.

President Biden’s October 2023 executive order on artificial intelligence mandated that agencies develop ethical AI and establish AI offices, among other directives. While agencies like the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security are optimistic about AI’s potential, leaders remain cautious about its ethical implications and stress the importance of safe technology development.

It’s not just technologists who require AI training. To ensure all employees understand AI’s risks and benefits, government leaders are prioritizing education and upskilling efforts.

Steven Brand, Energy Deputy CIO of Resource Management, highlighted the initiative to provide foundational AI training across his department, emphasizing that the goal is not to make employees experts.

Tammy Hornsby-Fink, Executive Vice President and System CISO at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, emphasized the need for accessible learning opportunities for all department members, from data scientists to executive assistants, to grasp AI concepts in manageable increments.

Hornsby-Fink also emphasized the importance of providing sandboxes for employees to experiment with new technologies safely, stressing that experimentation is key to understanding how these technologies can create business value.

According to Tony Boese, Department of Veterans Affairs Interagency Programs Manager, consistent education is essential to combat misinformation about AI. He mentioned the agency’s ASPIRE data-literacy program, which leverages AI to identify skills gaps and tailor educational pathways for individuals.

Karen Howard, IRS Office of Online Services Executive Director, highlighted the need to modernize recruitment strategies and change management principles to attract top talent and leverage digital transformation and AI effectively.

Jamie Holcombe, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office CIO, emphasized the importance of diversifying agency workforces by bringing in new perspectives from industry, such as those from Silicon Valley, to move away from outdated organizational playbooks.

Gov Agencies AI Workforce Challenges

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