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Feds Prep Workforce for Future AI Integration

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Lynne Parker, assistant director for artificial intelligence at the White House, said a number of agencies launched individual initiatives to educate and prepare employees for future integration of artificial intelligence into their operations, Federal Times reported Friday. 

“Agencies are stepping up on their own to create opportunities for people to maybe enroll in a short-term learning course where they can gain skills in IT areas or cybersecurity areas or AI areas,” Parker said at a recent National Academy of Public Administration event. “Because each agency knows the kinds of skills and the kinds of work that they do, they’re best suited to create these training programs.”

Despite the Trump administration promising AI will not entirely replace personnel in their jobs, Parker admitted the technology may take over some tasks in the future. 

“It’s quite likely that most of us will have some tasks or parts of our jobs that will be impacted by technology, AI, automation and so forth,” the White House official said. There are some areas “where AI is particularly well-suited that there may be some impact in the sense at the job goes away.” 

Parker cited studies suggesting that AI can only replace humans in a small percentage of jobs. However, Karen Shrum, principal for government and public sector at Ernst and Young, said the technology could replace people in millions of jobs. A 2018 future jobs report published by the World Economic Forum estimated that automated technologies could displace 75 million jobs worldwide by 2022. 

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