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New Microsoft AI Tool Could Help Government Lighten Its Load

Microsoft Azure now offers Azure OpenAI Service. A company executive described how governments might use it, and what that could mean for staff workloads.

A layout of a brain formed by blue lines with one side looking like a computer chip to indicate artificial intelligence. Gradient blue and black background.
A new tool powered by artificial intelligence is seeking federal risk management authorization and offers, a company executive said, a potent new public-sector solution.

Azure Government, the Microsoft cloud computing platform geared toward state, local and federal agencies, has released Azure OpenAI Service, according to a recent blog post from Candice Ling, vice president of strategic missions and technologies at Microsoft Federal.

The move, Ling wrote, enables agencies “with stringent security and compliance requirements to utilize this industry-leading generative AI service at the unclassified levels.”

Microsoft is submitting Azure OpenAI Service for FedRAMP High authorization from the Joint Authorization Board (JAB), she said, as the company continues to make “advanced AI capabilities” more widely available to clients.

The move comes as more agencies employ generative artificial intelligence for a variety of tasks and skeptics wonder about the security, privacy and bias of AI software. Ling highlighted generative artificial intelligence’s potential to ease public-sector workloads.

“Generative AI is poised to enable agencies with the ability to streamline complex processes and automate repetitive work, freeing personnel to focus on mission outcomes,” Ling wrote in the blog post. “Azure OpenAI Service is a flexible capability that when coupled with other AI platform services can accelerate and augment any number of processes and roles across an organization.”

Ling highlighted the productivity gains that AI can bring to agencies, specifically when it comes to requests for proposals for contracting government services.

“By grounding generative AI on past examples of RFPs and other relevant docs, AI can create a ready-to-edit first draft RFP helping to reduce time spent writing and creating higher quality requirements, while simplifying the process for non-contracting professionals,” Ling wrote.

Other examples of how AI can help governments include helping case workers manage heavy workloads and using natural language questions to more quickly find information across organizations. AI, Ling said, can also better equip public officials and employees to deal with large data sets that include public records and other sources of information.