— Technology —

Rounding up IT and advanced tech-related news impacting government and industry.

Veterans Embrace Virtual Therapists

Service members are more likely to open up about PTSD symptoms to a virtual interviewer, rather than on Post-Deployment Health Assessment surveys, according to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-funded findings published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI. The virtual therapist is an artificially intelligent avatar rendered in 3-D on a TV screen.

Machine learning and other approaches can feed into AI, but they’re not the same.

Artificial intelligence is seemingly everywhere these days, from self-driving cars and virtual assistants to medical innovations. References to AI are so pervasive, it also seems to have different names. Depending on the project at hand, you might hear talk of machine learning, deep learning or cognitive computing, all of which produce a kind of “thinking machine.” But while those terms sometimes get used interchangeably, they’re not exactly the same thing.

Fewer than 1 in 5 agencies use advanced automation, new report says.

Automating mundane tasks could help free up federal agencies from wasting their time with manual processes. But most agencies say they don’t have the right tools that could make this a new reality, according to a recent survey.

A Fitbit for the mind tracks a wearer’s emotions and stress levels throughout the day.

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest trends in government and industry. This column aims to shine the spotlight on where the most innovative uses of AI are happening, and explore the legal, ethical and economical issues organizations face.

Rounding up IT and advanced tech-related news impacting government and industry.

If you thought AI-based online targeted advertisements were invasive, soon your face — not only your search behavior — could alter the way you shop.

For example, if you’re at an electronics store looking at TVs and were scanned by store cameras using facial recognition software, that data could be cross-referenced with other databases that already have your facial data for retargeting campaigns. Your smart TV could start showing you commercials for the types of electronics you were looking at in the store, or avoid doing so if it was a different brand.

Because industry and government need to work together to reach IoT’s full potential.

Technology industry leaders have released a national strategy in hopes of helping the government create policies that will unleash the internet of things’ full potential.

Rounding up IT and advanced tech-related news impacting government and industry

Connecting Public Health with Blockchain

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are exploring proofs of concept based on blockchain technology to better manage health data during a crisis, or to track opioid abuse. Most of these proofs focus on better public health surveillance.

The initiative, led by Jim Nasr, chief software architect at CDC’s Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, intends to turn these proofs into real applications next year.

Adoption will take time, but it'll get done.

Despite recent years’ focus on moving federal agencies to the cloud, a relatively small number has made that transition, according to one government technologist.

“Probably if I were to guess as to how far we are with actual adoption of cloud, we’re probably like less than 10 percent across the federal space,” said Federal Communication Commission Chief Information Officer David Bray, speaking at the Agriculture Department’s Sept. 26 Combined Cloud Computing Conversation event.

The most interesting tech-related stories impacting government and industry

The Internet Doesn’t Want Longer Tweets

First step is overcoming the fear of the future.

Artificial intelligence has the potential for long-term digital disruption across organizations and automated devices, and could even outsmart humans. To adopt and embrace what’s to come, decision-makers in both industry and government have to prepare, build trust, collaborate and educate.

Over 90 Americans a day die of opioid overdoses, a number that keeps climbing.

In the fight against the opioid epidemic that has ravaged parts of the country, one agency has turned to technology to help reverse the trend of this increasing public health crisis.

In fact, data analytics played a key role in helping choke off a deadly international supply chain of opiates and helped bring down several illegal suppliers, said Kelly Tshibaka, chief data officer at the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. Tshibaka spoke yesterday at Fedstival, hosted by GovExec and Nextgov.

The most interesting tech-related stories impacting government and industry

ABBA to Tour As Holograms

Swedish 1970s pop sensation ABBA is following in the footsteps of Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson by planning another global tour — as holograms.

The musical foursome — Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — will be made into “digital avatars” for a virtual reality tour. Those avatars will mirror ABBA’s 1979 look, when the group’s music peaked

So why would ABBA want to do this? Commitment-free performances.

The technology can potentially save money, improve processes and enhance security.

Blockchain is not a new concept, but like most emerging tech, it’s slowly gaining interest and exploration in the public sector. Though the tech sits behind the scenes, a new report shows it has visible cost savings, security and service efficiency benefits for government.

Rounding up IT and advanced tech-related news impacting government and industry

The Newest Wearable Tech: Tattoos

A tattoo-like skin-based sensor developed by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin can monitor biometrics, including heart, brain and muscle activity. It’s called the Graphene Electrical Tattoo, or GET, and it’s made of 2-D sheets of carbon atoms and attaches to a temporary tattoo-like device. It’s lightweight but about 200 times stronger than steel, biodegradable and transparent, allowing it to be worn for longer periods of time than other sensors.

Patients empowered by tech will have care at their fingertips.

Trips to the hospital could soon be a thing of the past.

Brick-and-mortar clinics will no longer house hospital beds, as care will move into patients’ homes. Technology — and especially the internet of medical things — will empower consumers to take charge of their well-being. And artificial intelligence and algorithms will allow doctors to intervene before bad health outcomes actually occur.

AI should augment human work, not make their decisions.

There's perhaps no technology more hyped than artificial intelligence. But how do we separate fact from fiction?

Why agencies are adopting both

DevOps and agile development continue to grow in adoption in the federal government. Program managers are forced to look at new ways to successfully meet their deliverables while coping with legacy systems, tight budgets and the onslaught of cyberattacks.

"Technology itself is not valuable unless it solves a real problem."

Federal research programs and labs spend billions of dollars a year inventing new technologies that don’t always make it to the commercial market. A program called Fed Tech is hoping to change that, by helping the private sector adapt federal research for consumer use.

Rounding up IT and advanced tech-related news in government and industry.

Is the Public Safety Assessment Algorithm a Disadvantage to Citizens?

When a prior jail term was left out of the formula in a predictive public safety assessment algorithm, the tool decided a 19-year-old accused of violating probation could safely be released rather than held in jail. Just days later, he robbed and murdered another man. Yet, as governments rely on mathematical formulas for criminal justice decisions, citizens don’t know how the algorithms work or how they are being used.

Health IT panel follows remarks by Congressman Connolly

GovernmentCIO Magazine’s first CXO Tech Forum on health IT is live! The room is full of government and industry tech-minded leaders eager to learn about the technological issues facing government agencies.

The forum kicks off with a one-on-one interview with Congressman Gerry Connolly, followed by a health IT panel with FDA CIO Todd Simpson and HHS CIO Beth Killoran, and a chat with HHS blockchain advocate Debbie Bucci. We conclude with a fireside chat with the CEO of Inova Center for Personalized Health, Todd Stottlemyer. 

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