Generative AI, Need for Speed Should Be Gov’s Top AI Priorities

Margaret Amori

By Francis Rose
Host, Fed Gov Today

RESTON, VA – Generative artificial intelligence will deliver results for the federal government far beyond what its leaders are doing with AI today, according to industry leaders. But those leaders, meeting at the NVIDIA GTC Public Sector Innovation Showcase, believe the government can – and should – move faster toward AI solutions.

“It’s tough to know what’s real,” Ray Falcone, Vice President of, told me at the event. “The ability to detect that is important.”

Federal agencies in the defense, intelligence, and civilian sectors have embraced AI for years. “It’s really night and day between when I…first approached government customers about…AI and where we are today,” Margaret Amori of Nvidia told me. She says there are “400 different pilot programs across agencies. There’s a lot of promise there.” Mike Broadwater, Vice President of Technology Services at GAI, believes in the defense and intel communities, “AI is much further along. In our civilian side, we’re getting there. That side of it is a little more open, but the possibilities there are, dare I say, endless.”

“There are many use cases now,” according to Pablo Gomez, Vice President of Customer Success and Operations at ChoochAI. “One of them is predictive maintenance.” Adam Maher, the CEO of Ursa Space, cited examples he’s seen governments around the world pursue. “In Europe, there’s a really great forestry program. There’s another one about monitoring buildings. One country has figured out how to use satellite imagery to determine what marketing campaigns they would run [about] agricultural feeds.”

Michael Adams

The proliferation of programs is leading to an exponential growth in AI work. “In some of the most critical missions that can get high-value returns from AI, you’re actually starting to see those returns,” Seth Clark, Head of Product and Co-Founder of Modzy said. “I think the government has done a tremendously good job of trying to make the moves it can as quickly as possible, even [within] the constraints of the bureaucracy of the government.” Michael Adams, Director of Sales at Carahsoft, sees that critical mass too. “We really are on the cusp of seeing the curve of that hockey stick, where agencies take projects… into production. I think agencies sharing the different types of use cases, sharing best practices, [and] maybe what not to do, is really important.”

The explosion of AI use in the private sector is drawing government’s attention. “Government people say, ‘you talk to all of these companies that are building new products on the commercial side, help us,’” Randy Hayes, Vice President of Public Sector at VAST, told me. “Government’s probably four to five years behind, but it also depends on the agency. You typically see [AI tests] in agencies that have a low budget and a really hard problem.”

Other industry leaders see government leading industry in some aspects of AI development and deployment. “In many ways, the state of AI in government is significantly advanced [over] what you’ll see in the commercial sector,” said Ryan Mills, Director of Sales for North America for Run:ai. But he sees even bigger opportunity ahead as agencies rethink how they serve citizens. “AI has been used predominantly to make existing processes better incrementally, [to] do things more efficiently. There’s an opportunity to reimagine the way things are done altogether,” Mills told me. Chris Zurich, Principal Systems Architect at WEKA, agreed: “There are a lot of manual business processes that can be automated to increase efficiency across numerous domains.:

Fred Allman

And the industry leaders I talked to said the government has laid the right groundwork for AI success. “The framework that [Defense Department Chief Digital and AI Officer] Craig Martell [built] is a pretty good framework,” Chris Elsins, Federal Sales at Domino Data Labs told me. “It starts foundationally with ensuring data quality across the DOD.” With that framework in place, other industry leaders cited infrastructure as critical. Don Widener, Chief Technology Officer for Intelligent Solutions at BAE Systems, told me he sees more defense and IC organizations “investing in more high-performance computing.” Widener believes that infrastructure will lead to growth in areas like “modeling and simulation – that’s a little bit of an aside from what you would consider traditional AI.”

With all of the momentum the industry leaders talked about, several stressed the “need for speed” that government leaders, especially in the defense sector, call for on an ongoing basis. “We have to move faster,” Fred Allman, Senior Director of U.S. Public Sector at Nvidia told me. “You have to operate with a sense of urgency. You have to…focus on the larger problems that you need to solve, and then act with real purpose.”

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Industry Insights on AI in Government:

Michael Adams - Director, Sales - Carahsoft

Fred Allman - Sr. Director, US Public Sector - NVIDIA

Margaret Amori - Head of Inception, N. America - NVIDIA

Mike Broadwater - VP Technology Services - Government Acquisitions

Seth Clark - Head of Product, Co-founder - Modzy

Chris Elsins - Federal Sales - Domino Data Labs

Ray Falcione - VP -

Pablo Gomez - VP, Customer Success and Operations - ChoochAI

Randy Hayes - VP, Public Sector - VAST

Adam Maher - CEO - URSA Space

Ryan Mills - Director of Sales, Run:ai

Don Widener - CTO, Intelligent Solutions - BAE Systems

Chris Zurich - Principal Systems Architect - WEKA