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Reimagining the Future of Public-Sector IT

With a crowd of more than 900 people, the NASCIO Midyear Conference buzzed with energy about generative artificial intelligence, along with concern that humans remain in charge.

An audience, photographed from behind at a conference, views an AI-generated person on-screen.
The podcast cover image for this The Future in Context (TFIC) episode features an AI-generated image of how the NASCIO Midyear Conference main stage could have looked if it was designed by AI. (DALL-E 3)
Listen to this episode on the player below or subscribe for free on YouTube or the podcast app of your choice — Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audacy and Audible.

Generative AI can fill a room. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference attracted some 938 registered attendees. And that’s for a membership organization that represents 50 appointed tech officials. Not surprisingly, AI dominated the agenda — but not to the exclusion of longstanding NASCIO priorities of cybersecurity, workforce development, business transformation and data literacy.

Government Technology was on the ground for the event in National Harbor, Md., led by Executive Editor Noelle Knell, Managing Editor Lauren Kinkade and Senior Staff Writer Thad Rueter. The trio joined the podcast to recap the full scope of the conference.

Show Notes

  1. AI’s Accelerating Role: The rapid rise of generative AI to production-level implementation is surprising state tech leaders, prompting important policy and practice discussions about how best to integrate the technology in ethical decision-making and service delivery.
  2. Data Literacy Imperative: Minnesota and Texas have pioneered innovative approaches to data literacy, which they see as fundamental to the future of state IT programs.
  3. Cybersecurity Challenges: AI compounds cybersecurity challenges for states, while giving the public-sector IT community powerful new tools in combatting bad actors. Long a priority for NASCIO, state-level defenses against cyber threats have been aided by federal support and collaboration.
  4. Future of Trusted Collaboration: NASCIO’s newly updated strategic plan emphasizes “trusted collaboration” as pivotal in navigating complex partnerships among public-, private- and civic- sector players.
  5. AI and Workforce Development: The intersection of AI and workforce development puts a premium on attracting younger tech professionals to government by showcasing AI’s potential impact in public service and the opportunities for skill development.
  6. Privacy and AI Ethics: State officials highlight the importance of addressing privacy concerns and ethical considerations in AI implementation, emphasizing compliance with record series laws and the imperative of building trust among citizens regarding AI use cases.

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Our editors used ChatGPT 4.0 to summarize the episode in bullet form to help create the show notes. The main image for this story was created using DALL-E 3.
Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history.
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin. <br/>
Paul W. Taylor is the Senior Editor of e.Republic Editorial and of its flagship titles - Government Technology and Governing.
Ashley Silver is a staff writer for <i>Government Technology. </i>She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Montevallo and a graduate degree in public relations from Kent State University. Silver is also a published author with a wide range of experience in editing, communications and public relations.