Inter-agency Emerging Citizen Technologies Meeting

January 10, 2018, 10:30-12:00
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20408
Innovation Hub

Participating Agencies and Offices

Organizations  
Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Defense Defense Information Systems Agency Environmental Protection Agency
Department of Energy Executive Office of the President
Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Federal Aviation Administration
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of HHS National Institutes of Health (NIH) Federal Communications Commission
Department of HHS NIH Center for Information Technology Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Department of HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) First Responder Network Authority
DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Biometric Identity Management General Services Administration
DHS Science and Technology Directorate General Services Administration Public Buildings Service
DHS Transportation Security Administration Library of Congress
DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Library of Congress Congressional Research Service
Department of Housing and Urban Development National Capital Planning Commission
Department of State National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Department of State Office of Global Partnerships National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Communications
Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking In Persons Tennessee Valley Authority
Department of the Air Force Public Key Infrastructure System Program Office U.S. Agency for International Development
Department of the Interior National Park Service U.S. Mint
Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Department of the Navy U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Department of the Treasury U.S. Social Security Administration
Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service White House Office of Management and Budget
Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Department of the Treasury Office of Financial Research Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Department of Transportation Volpe Center  

Meeting Notes

Welcome and Introductions

  • Justin Herman Emerging Citizen Technology Office (ECTO), GSA and Meredith Stewart, NARA

U.S. Emerging Citizen Technology Atlas Update

  • Update on new “Paths to Acquisition” resource (Kelly Pippin, GSA Federal Acquisition Services) for the Business of Federal Emerging Technologies that will help businesses demystify working with the federal government, and help agencies evaluate options across government to pilot and acquire emerging tech.
    • Main pathways include:
      • GSA Schedules, IDVs, OTAs, Challenge.gov, JVPs (through a National Technical Information Service program).
      • If you have other pathways to suggest please email Kelly.Pippin@gsa.gov.
  • We now share the action items/notes from these meetings on the Atlas.
  • Action Item: The URL of the Atlas will soon change to a more permanent home on the Digital.gov domain, timed with the release of the “Paths to Acquisition,” resource and our new government-wide emerging technology calendar, in roughly two weeks.
  • Action Item: We now have a Trello management dashboard and Slack channel for inter-agency coordination of Emerging Citizen Technology initiatives. Invitations will be provided where possible and appropriate this month.

Inter-agency ECTO Initiatives Update

  • Action Item: GSA ECTO is launching monthly data calls across all participating programs in order to analyze and report trends in emerging technology needs and opportunities in the federal government. Reports each month will be distributed through the Emerging Citizen Technology Communities. If you have an insight you need integrated into the data call, please reach out to emergingtech@gsa.gov.
  • Venture Capital Advisory Group initiative:
    • Molly Cain and Jennifer Hoover, DHS Venture, Innovation and Engagement (VICE) #InnovateDHS
    • The VC Advisory Group is a group that will help us use the VC community to help us keep tabs on what will be coming up in the future. We are looking at 7 VCs for the inaugural group that would help us streamline the proof-of-concept process, the procurement process, pour fuel on existing programs that are under-served but deserve more attention. Also want the group to help amplify best business practices. We are formalizing these processes and are looking to have open, frank discussions.
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation Innovation team is on-board to be our co-chair.
    • Action Item: If you are interested in joining this initiative please email molly.cain@hq.dhs.gov, jennifer.hoover@hq.dhs.gov and emergingtech@gsa.gov.
  • Academic Research Outreach initiative:
    • Ann Meceda (mecedaa@fan.gov), in concert with the Institute for Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University, is stepping up to take point on helping coordinate requests and opportunities to collaborate with the leading U.S. academic research facilities.
    • Action Item: If your agency or you would like to join the initiative to help coordinate our relationships with academic research facilities, please reach out to Ann and emergingtech@gsa.gov.
  • Emerging Technology Training and Education initiative:
    • We will start piloting a new training and awareness program across the federal government through DigitalGov University, starting with targeted stakeholder communities including non-technical senior leaders, data stewards, contracting officers and others in the federal government to help them recognize their roles.
    • Leading non-governmental organizations and private sector leaders are stepping up to contribute insights, including:
      • NVIDIA
      • Linux Foundation
      • Chamber of Digital Commerce
      • and more. We are taking insights right now from anywhere with value.
    • Action Item: If your agency or you would like to join the initiative to help design our new emerging technology curriculum, please email emergingtech@gsa.gov.

Communities and Pilots Update and Discussion

  • All Emerging Citizen Technology Communities:
    • We need to grow based on overwhelming demand from agencies, however in order to do so we need to further decentralize management across agencies and empower stakeholders in order to achieve greater impact with limited resources.
    • Action Item: Better coordinate with Shared Services Leadership Coalition and other teams dedicated to advancing the shared service model that is critical to the effective and efficient adoption of emerging technologies for IT modernization.
    • Action Item: Everyone should study Appendix E in the Modernizing Government Technology Act.
  • Artificial Intelligence for Citizen Services and Robotic Process Automation
    • Action Item: We are organizing an effort to negotiate federal-friendly terms of service for Amazon Alexa and other AI services.
    • Update on “NPS Ranger” Alexa Skill:
      • Todd Edgar, National Park Service, Digital Strategy Division
      • For GSA ECTO’s AI Personal Assistant Pilot, NPS built a skill called NPS Ranger which can include:
        • Alerts for any National Park Service site
        • Contact information for any National Park Service site
        • Description of any National Park Service site
        • Directions to any National Park Service site
        • Events for any National Park Service site (for any date)
        • News for any National Park Service site
        • Trivia for any National Park Service site
        • Random NPS trivia
        • List of National Park Service sites in any U.S. state
      • Once this has a ToS we hope to roll this out and then expand from there, including Google Assistant. This is a great pathway into chatbots as well.
    • Action Item: Invite GSA’s new internal Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence to our next meeting to share insights.
  • Blockchain
    • Comment from participant: MIT Media Lab had an inaugural AI and blockchain conference to look at the legal requirements that the technology satisfies. Blockchain for many tech people was not that exciting for a long time. Lots of features of blockchain were not necessarily novel. But, blockchain is basically cryptographic key plus an ability to share across different members. Government could draw some questions from this.
    • Comment from Debbi Bucci, Department of Health and Human Services: I think we all agree that blockchain is an underlying technology. But we need greater focus from authorizing organizations within government.
    • Action Item: We are creating a working group to map out what exactly we need in terms of policy and guidance to facilitate the incredible amounts of interest in blockchain technology.
    • Action Item: We will invite the National Science and Technology Council to our next action meeting and will seek insights on necessary steps to further mature the field for IT modernization.
    • Action Item: Determine opportunities to participate in the Chamber of Digital Commerce’s annual Blockchain conference coming up in March.
    • Action Item: Invite Treasury to report on their two Blockchain pilots.
  • SocialGov
    • We host monthly office hours for U.S. Digital Registry before the inter-agency Emerging Citizen Technology Action Meeting – if your agency has a need, please plan on participating.
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality
    • Action Item: Host a hands-on demo session of new VR/AR capabilities quarterly.
    • Action Item: Analyze and demo Amazon Web Services’ new Sumerian.
    • Action Item: Invite NIST and Challenge.gov to upcoming action meeting to discuss NIST’s new VR/AR competition and insights other agencies can use for launching emerging technology challenges.

New Business: Action Items Also Found Integrated in Previous Categories

  • Action Item: Analyze and demo Amazon Web Services’ new Sumerian.
  • Action Item: Invite GSA’s new internal Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence to our next meeting to share insights.
  • Action Item: Determine opportunities to participate in the Chamber of Digital Commerce’s annual Blockchain conference coming up in March.
  • Action Item: Better coordinate with Shared Services Leadership Coalition and other teams dedicated to advancing the shared service model that is critical to the effective and efficient adoption of emerging technologies for IT modernization.
  • Action Item: Invite Treasury to report on their two Blockchain pilots.
  • Action Item: Everyone should study Appendix E in the MGT Act.

Next Meeting & Adjourn

  • February 14, 10:30-12:00, TBD