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White House Envisions an Artificially Intelligent Government

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Does artificial intelligence have a role in the United States’ criminal justice system? The White House thinks it might.

Next week, the White House plans to convene a new technology council to discuss ways computer-powered decision-making could help the federal government, especially in areas related to smart cities, mental health, social welfare, criminal justice and the environment, according to a blog post from Deputy Chief Technology Officer Ed Felten.

The council plans to discuss opportunities for artificial intelligence-pilot projects and applications ripe for government investment. It also plans to address the privacy, security and regulation of that technology in both the public and private sectors, Felten wrote.

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The White House plans to host four public workshops over the next four months about the implications of artificial intelligence in the legal, governance, safety, social and economic spheres.

The workshops are meant to encourage a public dialogue about the technology, the post said. Content from these events will populate a public report on the topic, to be issued later this year.

Some federal programs are already incorporating elements of artificial intelligence.

President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, a research program aimed at tailoring medical treatment to an individual’s unique genetic makeup and environment, could use artificial intelligence to comb medical data in search of patterns, eventually helping doctors formulate diagnoses and treatment plans, Felten wrote.

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