Inter-agency Emerging Citizen Technologies Meeting

December 13, 2017, 10:30-12:00
U.S. General Services Administration
1800 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Participants: 72 government managers

Meeting Notes

Welcome & Introductions

  • Justin Herman, GSA Emerging Citizen Technology Office (ECTO)

U.S. Emerging Citizen Technology Atlas Update

  • New “Paths to Acquisition” resource for the Business of Federal AI and Emerging Technologies (Kelly Pippin, GSA Federal Acquisition Services)
    • GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in acquisition and tech services to the American government and to make it easier for government and industry to understand acquisition. This resource (a new section of the ECTO Atlas) will be published soon, but ECTO will share it with agencies before official publish date.
    • Three current areas of focus:
      • Schedules (GWAC, Alliant 2, IT Schedule 70)
      • Challenge.gov
      • Joint-Venture Partnerships
      • Other Contracting Vehicles
  • Action Item: ECTO will share the Pathways to Acquisition resource with agencies and user groups for feedback before official launch on Atlas.

New ECTO Venture Capital Advisory Group

  • Molly Cain and Jennifer Hoover, DHS Venture, Innovation and Engagement (VICE) #InnovateDHS)
    • ECTO Inter-agency Communities are launching a Venture Capital/Market Intelligence Advisory Group, spearheaded by DHS VICE.
    • “Executives do not need to invest in tomorrow right now, but they have to be aware of it.”
    • For the past 6-8 months the #InnovateDHS Team spoke with the venture capital community across the United States seeking technologies that help match mission needs. We want to share mission needs to get advice, identify trends, gather information to build a portfolio.
    • We want insight from this interagency group as we build relationships with these VCs.
    • This effort will unfold in 90 day chunks/phases as we think about what we want to accomplish during that span and put the right people in the room.
    • Packaging and messaging this is a collaborative activity - want to show the broad range of value.

Communities and Pilots Update and Discussion

  • Artificial Intelligence for Citizen Services
    • Intelligent Personal Assistant terms of service
      • Need a coordinated inter-agency ToS process that allows people to use these online services.
      • Open source software is a particular issue with licensing. It would be good to bring Code.gov into these discussions to better understand this issue.
    • Robotic Process Automation
      • There are cost-saving opportunities beyond call centers that can be piloted.
        • The Atlas will have a section where these use cases will be shared and de-mystified.
        • USPTO is interested in heading an agency team to share pilots across government as well.
        • Treasury, GSA, SEC, and SSA are running Robotic Process Automation (RPA) pilots now.
      • Treasury pilot: Figuring out how to replace highly repetitive tasks. This involves mapping a set of keystrokes, putting a bot on top of it. It’s like an excel macro but on steroids. We think up processes that are highly manual, brought in a contractor to help us understand if these were right for RPA. We’re looking at some potentially big savings. We’re still in the analysis phase of this.
      • SSA Pilot: Our robotic processing is just to read PDF documents submitted as part of a proposal process to pull information related to a proposal.
      • GSA Pilot: FAS are trying to use RPA to automatically identify if a contract meets Section 508 compliance - it is challenging because of the varied language.
      • SEC Pilot: We are looking to automate some of the things associated with the security access request database.
  • Blockchain
    • It is important to consider awareness and education for tech-savvy people as well. There is a lot of technical folks who aren’t as informed as they should be.
    • Action Item: Need for Blockchain 101 resources to dispel myths and hype
  • Social Gov
    • There are about 15,000 daily active public-facing digital accounts for the federal government on platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
      • Some of these are not verified on platforms or operate on unverified platforms.
      • Important to maintain trust in digital services; the registry is a repository and we need to ensure all official government accounts are verified.
      • OMB mandates that agencies must use this registry, but this is more than compliance: it’s a clear and compelling need of the American people.
      • GSA is conducting awareness campaign to help agencies verify their accounts; we will be issuing reports in the near future on this effort.
    • Action Item: Launching monthly office hours for U.S. Digital Registry
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality
    • Multiple pilots are underway, from State Department using Augmented Reality (AR) goggles for deployment overseas for facilities management, to numerous instances through the National Capital Planning Commission.
    • Telework and remote presence continues to be a strong use case for further testing and development.
    • Action Item: Connect National Capital Planning Commission with GSA Public Building Service to collaborate on VR/AR pilots for public buildings.

New Business

  • Training, Education and Awareness Needs
    • Action Item: The group will begin to develop a draft a pilot training and education program around emerging technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Blockchain, initially targeting high-need communities including:
      • Data Stewards
      • Contracting Officers
      • Non-technical program managers
    • Action Item: Department of State and GSA will discuss opportunities for furthering United States leadership in emerging technologies.
    • The academic and research communities want to be more engaged with government - opportunities to tap into their research facilities for pilots.
      • State has a version of this called Diplomacy Lab with 30 universities where they submit questions to them and they spend time researching, as done NIH and NSF.
      • State and local government is also interested - State of Illinois has some projects.
    • Action Item: GSA will make a calendar with upcoming events and will put it in the Atlas for collaborative working.
    • Action Item: Figure out how to categorize and promote the multitude of activities, pilots, research projects that agencies are engaged in across government.

Next Meeting & Adjourn

  • January 10, 1030-1200, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration