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New Center of Excellence to Infuse AI into Texas Government

The launch of the Texas Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence was announced this week. The initiative will facilitate the development of AI concepts and standards throughout state and local government.

Texas now has a center for making artificial intelligence part of how government does business. 

In a press release, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) revealed the state’s new Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence (AI-CoE). AI-CoE’s purpose is to assist state and local agencies and public institutions of higher learning with exploring how AI can be used to enhance service delivery to citizens. 

“Following the success of DIR’s Cloud Center of Excellence, we want the AI-CoE to enable and foster the adoption of AI in state government to increase efficiency,” said John Hoffman, who serves as chief technology officer and deputy chief information officer of Texas. “This will also ensure the implementation of the state’s strategic goals for technology as outlined in the 2020-2024 State Strategic Plan for Information Resources Management.”  

One of the objectives of the 2020-2024 strategic plan is to “initiate testing of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to drive new interaction and services with the public.” AI-CoE aims to accomplish this objective by utilizing the expertise of DIR staff and private partners so that IT leaders across agencies can identify areas where AI can speed up processes and reduce costs. 

“With this initiative, we would conduct training, coaching events and hands-on workshops to help agencies explore AI proof-of-concepts and rapid prototyping in developing standards and best practices,” said Krishna Edathil, director of Enterprise Solution Services for DIR and practice lead for AI-CoE.

The release states that all AI technologies will be examined, from machine learning to natural language processing to computer vision.

Jed Pressgrove has been a writer and editor for about 15 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in sociology from Mississippi State University.