California Tests Generative AI to Tackle Traffic, Health Care Challenges

Accenture, Deloitte and SymSoft are tasked with creating AI concepts to reduce highway traffic and speed up health care building inspections

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 13, 2024

3 Min Read
Downtown Los Angeles, California at sunset
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California officials are launching new partnerships with leading technology vendors to harness generative AI to tackle critical state challenges like highway congestion and health care efficiency.

Five new partnerships with technology vendors were announced last week. The state will pay participating companies a symbolic $1 to test their generative AI solutions over six months.

The tech firms will use sandbox testing environments through cloud platforms from AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, to showcase their projects.

Each vendor is tasked with using publicly available data to build their solutions to simulate a realistic representation of state operations. Officials say using cloud-based sandboxes provides it with time to evaluate each technology before a prospective full rollout.

“We are now at a point where we can begin understanding if GenAI can provide us with viable solutions while supporting the state workforce,” said Amy Tong, secretary of the California Government Operations Agency. “Our job is to learn by testing and we’ll do this by having a human in the loop at every step so that we’re building confidence in this new technology.”

The projects span a wide array of applications.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), for example, is looking to reduce traffic congestion. Deloitte Consulting and Accenture have been tasked with examining the traffic problem, with plans to develop a system that processes traffic data to enhance traffic pattern analysis and management.

Related:California Issues Generative AI Tool Use Guidelines

“With an average of 12 Californians dying on our roadways every day, we need to use every tool available to end the roadway crisis and reach our goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2050,” said Toks Omishakin, California’s transportation secretary.

Another of the projects will see Ignyte Group and SymSoft Solutions develop generative AI-powered solutions to create a more accessible platform for Californians to understand business tax requirements.

“Generative AI has the potential to enhance services for taxpayers and complement the efforts of our customer service agents,” said Nick Maduros, CDTFA director. “We are always looking for innovative ways to improve service to our taxpayers.”

Local health care agencies including the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are looking into using generative AI to improve health care facility inspections. Accenture and Ignyte have been tasked with creating a generative AI-powered tool to speed up the summarization of inspection-related documents.

Related:California to Regulate State Use of Generative AI

“CDPH is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to ensure Californians continue to have access to safe, high-quality care,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer. “Generative AI helps propel us forward in these efforts by streamlining our oversight processes, making them more efficient and consistent for our highly qualified surveyors and more beneficial for health facilities and the communities they serve.”

The partnerships follow Governor Gavin Newsom’s September 2023 executive order that imposed rules on the state government’s use of generative AI, ensuring the technology is used responsibly.

State agencies have to follow guidelines on the use of generative AI technologies before adopting new systems. Introduced in March, the new guidelines would force local officials to conduct audits and risk assessments before implementing new AI solutions.

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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