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How USPS is pioneering AI integration in public service

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing public services and enhancing the citizen experience by streamlining processes, reducing bureaucracy, and delivering more personalized and efficient services.

One prime example of this transformation is at the U.S. Postal Service, which is undergoing a significant overhaul as part of its “Delivering for America” plan, says Pritha Mehra, CIO for USPS.

“It’s modernizing the entire service across the board, whether it’s hiring practices, the network optimization, and the product suites we offer the customers. So machine learning has played a pretty large role across the spectrum,” says Mehra in a recent FedScoop interview.

“We’ve been engaged in leveraging many different capabilities around machine learning. And now, as you look at generative AI, we’re looking at where we can bring that value into the Postal Service almost immediately,” she adds.

However, the journey to integrate AI into public service has its challenges. Heidi Kobylski, general manager for the civilian business unit at Microsoft, points out the importance of establishing robust governance to prevent bias and ensure fairness, trust, and privacy.

“You have to make sure that the data and your governance are in order once you enable the capability so that it doesn’t grow like wildfire,” says Kobylski. “[Agencies must also] make sure that [they] have a plan early to educate all the users. The technology community in an agency, of course, understands the benefit. But it’s important to start educating agencies top to bottom.”

Mehra and Kobylski share their recommendations for taking advantage of AI more effectively and quickly. By carefully navigating challenges and focusing on the ethical and efficient use of AI, public services can not only enhance operational efficiency but also significantly improve the quality of services offered to citizens, paving the way for a more connected and technologically advanced future in public service.

Learn more about how agencies can adopt AI for customer experience and service delivery. This video panel discussion was produced by Scoop News Group for FedScoop and underwritten by Microsoft.