A potential silver lining in the Covid pandemic is acceleration of government adoption of innovative technologies. This article highlights budding ideas for the U.S. federal government to increase usage of artificial intelligence, augmented- and virtual-reality, and 'edge computing' (placing data closer to where it's needed, not trying to maintain massive centralized data warehouses). All of these technologies show tremendous promise for speeding up medical and economic recovery from the pandemic, as well as mitigating the impact of future similar events. And, with a bit of imagination, we can apply these technologies to so many more issues we face.
Governments must become 'technology-focused organizations' for us to realize all these benefits. This idea brings with it so many changes it can be intimidating to contemplate - but we must do so. Our society and economy are changing right in front of us in so many ways and so rapidly. We must start a robust conversation about how we adapt. I look forward to pursuing this conversation with all of you.
The current health crisis underscores the need to capitalize on emerging technologies to address many of the complex challenges that agencies face in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—and to help federal employees meet many of the nation’s national security, economic and domestic needs. By thoughtfully adopting such new technologies, federal agencies will be better able to serve the public and fulfill their missions.