Workshop: Advancing Public Service through Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

March 7, 2019

Location:  Room 222/226, Graduate School USA, 600 Maryland Ave. SW Washington, DC 20024. [2-minute walk from L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station ]

Sponsored by the ASPA Section for Complexity and Network Studies, Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation (SEGS) Lab, and the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont

This workshop will include a panel of experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by rapidly spreading digital revolution, internet of things, drones and ubiquitous computing. While these new disruptive technologies have led to the widespread diffusion of big data, service delivery, machine learning and AI technologies in the private sector, the public sector agencies are lagging far behind in both regulating the adverse impacts of AI (e.g. strategic spread of fake news and rumors in elections through advertising campaigns in social media) as well as harnessing AI technologies for addressing persistent public sector issues (e.g. social equity, infrastructure resilience, sustainable development, and government accountability). Further, ethical issues pertaining to the regulatory use and trust of AI technologies will be explored in an interactive discussion format with the workshop participants. Depending upon the audience interest, ideas for a special issue of a relevant journal or an edited book will also be explored in this participatory workshop. 

Panel of experts: 

1. Rob Axtell, Computational Social Science Program, College of Science, George Mason University []

2. Dan Chenok, Executive Director, Center for The Business of Government, IBM Global Business Services []

3. David Dornisch, Senior Social Science Analyst at U.S. Government Accountability Office. []

4. Jane Wiseman, Innovations in Government Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School. []

5. Brad Wyble, Psychology Department; Penn State University []

Moderators:    Asim Zia, University of Vermont & Paul Hirsch, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) 


1-1:15: Introductions

1:15-1:45: Asim [AI and big data challenges and opportunities, future of work for government service] and Paul [ethical, epistemological and ontological issues]

1:45-3:15: Panel discussion

3:15-3:30: Coffee/tea break

3:30-4:30: Interactive group activity and debriefing

4:30-5:00: Next steps: special issue/edited book, informal network etc.

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