The COVID pandemic as well as 'routine' disaster recovery are demonstrating the great value artificial intelligence (AI) technology can offer to government agencies dealing with emergency response. This article, referencing a new report from Microsoft, offers several examples of tracking, and anticipating, wildfires, as well as predicting disasters, and optimizing costs for mitigation (like which water pipes most need to be replaced in case of an earthquake, when you can't afford to update the entire system).

Basically, one of the key capabilities of AI, combined with machine learning, is to consume incredible amounts of information and 'find' relationships humans might not figure out so easily or quickly. With that resulting forecast model, AI can make more accurate predictions based on changes to other variables humans may not see. 

The technology most certainly does not replace human labor. It makes human labor (evaluating results, developing 'what if' analyses, determining contingency plans based on results) so much more effective and efficient. Governments need to be looking at this technology more seriously than ever before, and figuring out how to deploy it.