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AI as a Stress Test for Government Data

The rise of generative artificial intelligence is a stress test for data governance and management. And an opportunity for data stewards to shine.

The podcast cover image for this The Future in Context (TFIC) episode features an AI-generated image of a futuristic government service center powered by data. (DALL-E 3)
The podcast cover image for this The Future in Context (TFIC) episode features an AI-generated image of a futuristic government service center powered by data. (DALL-E 3)
Listen to this episode on the player below or subscribe for free on YouTube or the podcast app of your choice — Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audacy and Audible.

When Neil Cooke became the Chief Data Officer at the Texas Department of Information Resources in 2022, generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) was not on the horizon. The role was focused on data governance and collaborating with state agencies in overseeing the shared open data portal. It is tempting — and a little clickbaity — to say GenAI changed all that. But that would be factually incorrect. In fact, all the behind-the-scenes work on data management and governance has gone a long way toward preparing the state to meet the challenges — and take advantage of the opportunities — of AI.

Cooke talked about data disciplines as a precursor to the effective use of artificial intelligence on our occasional series, Government A to Z, with TFIC co-host and Government Technology Staff Writer Ashley Silver along with two colleagues from Governing — Staff Writer Zina Hutton and Digital Editor Zoe Manzanetti.

Show Notes

Here are the top 3 takeaways from this episode:

An Evolving Strategic Role:
  • Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and data management officers play pivotal roles in navigating government challenges by overseeing data governance practices and promoting collaboration across agencies.
  • Their responsibilities include breaking down data silos, ensuring data quality, and fostering a culture where data is valued and managed effectively.

AI’s Transformative Potential:
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerges as a transformative tool in addressing governmental challenges, offering opportunities for automation, enhanced decision-making, and predictive analytics.
  • However, the effectiveness of AI models heavily relies on the quality and security of the data they’re trained on, emphasizing the importance of robust data governance frameworks.

Collaborative Approach:
  • Collaboration between government entities, AI advisory councils, and technology experts is essential for responsible AI development and effective data governance.
  • Initiatives such as data literacy programs and AI user groups facilitate knowledge sharing and best practices dissemination, fostering a collaborative environment for addressing governmental challenges.

Related Links to stories related to this episode:

Our editors used ChatGPT 4.0 to summarize the episode in bullet form to help create the show notes. The main image for this story was created using DALL-E 3.
Previous Episodes
Ashley Silver is the co-host of The Future in Context podcast and a staff writer with Governing’s sister publication, Government Technology.
Zina Hutton is a staff writer for Governing. She has been a freelance culture writer, researcher and copywriter since 2015. In 2021, she started writing for Teen Vogue. Now, at Governing, Zina focuses on state and local finance, workforce, education and management and administration news.
Zoe is the digital editor for Governing.
Paul W. Taylor is the Senior Editor of e.Republic Editorial and of its flagship titles - Government Technology and Governing.
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