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Agencies See Improvements in Workflow and Time Efficiencies with AI, RPA

SEC, USPTO and GAO use automation to maximize operations by reducing repeated tasks and optimize workflows.

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Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation are enabling key capabilities to boost mission support and the workforce in government.

At the Securities and Exchange Commission, the technology is reducing manual labor.

“We look at processes that are done manually and take away that manual labor and so people can focus on other things,” said SEC Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Tanu Luke. “We analyze calls we are receiving and determine if we are getting a certain type of service call, then we can potentially automate and provide that response in a faster way. We’re really looking at the manual workflows and reducing those.”

It also is supporting patent examiners

“RPA is more procedural and AI is less procedural analytics. When you talk about the spectrum of automation tools, it’s not about biasing toward one side or the other, but it’s really about figuring out the best holistic end-to-end workflow that will best achieve the needs of an agency,” said USPTO Emerging Technology Director Jerry Ma at a Federal News Network event this week.

USPTO is able to deliver maximum value to the innovation community and stakeholders by applying AI to its’ behind the scenes operational work.

“AI has a central role to play in making sure that examiners are able to contend with that, which ultimately delivers value to our stakeholders because they receive benefits from stronger, higher quality and timelier patent and trademark brands,” Ma said.

The Government Accountability Office is also seeing widespread use and adoption of RPA.

“We’ve done an RPA-related project at GAO that moves one of our critical task-involved computations on labor inputs from months to seconds. So, when you talk about dropping the work factor in that you know your rules up front and how to do it, you just have to process, engineer and code it in the algorithm,” said GAO Chief Scientist Timothy Persons. “AI can be done accountably, and we think that there’s a bright future as long as the risks are managed.”

AI is also providing the SEC with a better way to identify cybersecurity threats and fulfill requirements of the zero trust mandate.

“We want to be mindful of more than just the immediate threats, but how AI is going to help with identifying and proactively help with cybersecurity incidents in the future,” Luke said.

“We are trying to create work around the zero trust requirements and more importantly it will be incumbent upon the data sources and managing the data,” Luke added. “Right now, we have a larger enterprise-wide data initiative to ensure that we can combine all these data sources to be able to track things better in the future.”

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