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AI Aids USAJobs’ Move to the Cloud

Agencies grapple with AI development and developing use cases that improve workforce and mission priorities.

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Office of Personnel Management CIO Guy Cavallo speaks at Box's Government Summit in Washington, D.C.
Office of Personnel Management CIO Guy Cavallo speaks at Box's Government Summit in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: GovCIO Media & Research

Government leaders continue to realize benefits of technology modernization for their artificial intelligence priorities — including the Office of Personnel Management’s move of federal government’s employment site to the cloud as it preps databases for AI.

“This week, we moved USAJobs to the cloud,” OPM CIO Guy Cavallo said at the May 16 Box Government Summit in Washington, D.C. “You don’t want to be pulling data out of silos from multiple servers spread across an agency that can get your data into the cloud. Your AI will work much better, and much more effectively for you.”

Cavallo emphasized how important consolidating and tagging data are before using AI for modernization projects like cloud migration.

“If you do not consolidate your data, if you did not tag that data,  AI is going to be very good at retrieving [personally identifiable information]. Until you tell [your AI], it can pull this data out of this database, but do not pull social security numbers, AI can pull all of that,” Cavallo said.

Agencies are undergoing widespread transformation to integrate AI into their operations following President Biden’s AI executive order. Subsequent implementation guidance from the Office and Management Budget also advises agencies to develop AI use case inventories.

Kevin Walsh, director of IT and cybersecurity at the Government Accountability Office, referred to these inventories as “living documents” that provide transparency.

“[Federal agencies] are telling us what they’re doing with AI, and I think this is excellent. I personally as a taxpayer want to know what the government is doing,” Walsh said. “We don’t want this inventory to be a one-time thing. We don’t want it to be a one-shot deal. We do indeed want this to be a living document.”

Agencies are using AI for a variety of use cases.

Aaron Levie, CEO and founder of Box, sees a future when AI becomes an agent rather than an assistant.

“Think about all the requests that we all get all day long for a piece of information or to reset a password in the system. Imagine AI being able to instantly do that for anybody,” Levie said. “We can personalize our marketing, we can personalize our messages, we can accelerate the supply chain again, whether that’s on the private side or the public side. Then possibly most importantly, we can reduce business or organization or agency risk.”

AI is helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration count seabird populations, the Department of Homeland Security monitor U.S. borders, and NASA strengthen and quicken communications with rovers on Mars. Plus, the Energy Department is using AI to help its own workforce understand the differences in state and local permits while working on clean energy projects.

“We’re also trying to help people use AI to process permits more quickly. We’ve also got an AI reference guide that we published one version of internally to the government,” said Energy CIO Ann Dunkin. “We’re also putting in place mad sandboxes across DOE. One of the great things about our research mission is when new technology comes along, everyone jumps on it.”

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