Yes& General , Government

Who’s on the Forefront of AI Adoption? Not Who You’d Suspect…

Rutrell Yasin

How Government Agencies are Using AI to Improve their missions and serve citizens in 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to transform government operations in 2024, especially with the weight of the federal government behind the advancement of safe and responsible development and use of AI.

In 2023, federal agencies identified over 700 ways they use AI to advance their missions, a number that is only likely to grow.  “When AI is used in agency functions, the public deserves assurance that the government will respect their rights and protect their safety,” according to guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

AI enables computer systems to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. Machine learning (ML), a type of artificial intelligence, enables computers to learn without being programmed by humans. From automated customer service to predictive analytics, AI can take on repetitive tasks and free up employees to focus on high-value work. AI analysis of big data helps identify insights, trends, and risks to inform planning and strategy. Predictive analytics can forecast the needs of citizens for better delivery of services.

In addition, AI can help the public sector deliver more responsive and customized services to citizens, by considering their individual and collective needs, preferences, and feedback. For instance, AI can provide personalized health care and wellness services, such as diagnosis, treatment, or prevention, based on the medical history, genetic profile, and lifestyle of each patient.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is using AI and ML to achieve its mission to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans. Together with its partners in academia, industry, and government, HHS is leveraging AI capabilities to solve mission challenges and gain new insights into complex problems. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office audit, HHS is one of the top agencies using AI — fourth only to NASA and the Departments of Commerce and Energy. Within HHS, the FDA uses AI to power its customer services chatbot, and uses a chatbot tool to make HIV information easier to access, navigate, and understand.

Meanwhile, The Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA), which manages compliance risks, is using AI-powered automation to ensure that payments reach those who are eligible for various agency programs without error. The Department of Homeland Security is using AI for border security, to detect fraud and prevent cyberattacks. The Environmental Protection Agency uses AI to monitor air quality, predict water quality, and assess environmental risks. The General Services Administration uses AI to automate procurement processes, improve customer service, and enhance cybersecurity.

Numerous state and local government agencies are adopting AI, as well. New York City uses AI to detect building code violations, monitor air quality, and streamline 311 requests. The Commonwealth of Virginia deploys AI to improve health care delivery, enhance education outcomes, and protect natural resources. In addition, California harnesses the power of AI to combat wildfires, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support social services.


At the same time, AI systems can perpetuate inherent biases, while they collect and share extensive data, raising privacy and cybersecurity concerns. AI adoption in the U.S. public sector is a complex and multifaceted issue that depends on various factors, such as policy guidance, budgetary constraints, talent availability, data management, and public trust.

According to sources, some of the possible steps that U.S. public sector agencies can take to accelerate AI adoption in 2024 are:

  • Respond to the call for service for AI talent in the federal government, as announced by the White House in January 2024. This initiative aims to recruit dedicated people who can help leverage AI responsibly to improve government services, make smart policies and regulations around AI, and build research and development capacity for AI innovation.

  • Accelerate cloud migration and adopt data management platforms that can enable secure, scalable, and efficient data sharing and analysis across agencies and domains. This can help overcome the challenges of data silos, legacy systems, and compliance issues that hamper the effective use of AI in the public sector.

  • Address the trust and ethical challenges of AI deployment, such as ensuring transparency, accountability, fairness, and privacy in the use of AI-enabled systems and services.

There is tremendous promise for AI adoption in 2024, along with notable risks. By implementing responsible governance and planning, government agencies can maximize AIs benefits and minimize downsides through job retraining programs, cybersecurity investments, and a focus on transparent and fair AI systems. This can be achieved by establishing standards, guidelines, and best practices for AI development, such as the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence and The National Institute of Standards and Technology AI Risk Management Framework.

AI is one of the most powerful and disruptive technologies of the 21st century. It has the potential to enhance public services, improve governance, and address complex societal challenges. Government agencies need to leverage AI to achieve their missions and goals, while also ensuring that AI systems are safe, responsible, and trustworthy.

Yes& works with companies at the forefront of AI development, innovation, and implementation that are helping federal, defense, state, and local government agencies achieve mission goals and deliver improved citizen services, strengthen cybersecurity, and accelerate career advancement for their workforces.

If you are interested in the evolving use of AI in the public sector, this is the first blog in a series that Yes& will be publishing. Subscribe below to read future posts on this topic.



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Rutrell Yasin
Rutrell Yasin
Senior Writer and Content Strategist