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Finding a Balance: Practical Ways to Apply AI in Government

Incoming Nevada CIO Michael Dietrich appreciates the potential of artificial intelligence, as long as the risks are also considered.

Nevada CIO Michael Dietrich
Nevada CIO Michael Dietrich
BALTIMORE — Fresh out of the private sector, Nevada CIO Michael Dietrich appreciates the potential represented by technologies gaining ground in the consumer market, like artificial intelligence that's good enough at replicating human emotions to fool actual humans.

"That's all really cool stuff but at the state level, at the government level, we have to look at what is the practical, the meaningful application of these emerging technologies," he said in an interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear conference this week in Baltimore.

Cybersecurity is one area where Dietrich feels AI could be particularly helpful to the public sector.

"If an artificial intelligence is able to learn and make decisions and have those capabilities, it would be a great thing for cybersecurity, for an AI to actually be looking at patterns on the network, to be looking at traffic, and be able to make human life decisions of, 'Oh, this is something that's malicious.'" 

Noelle Knell has been the editor of Government Technology magazine for e.Republic since 2015. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she 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. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.