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10/16/2020
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WorkScoop

Do states really want chatbots?

Machine learning-powered chatbots were instrumental in allowing states to deal with the onslaught of unemployment claims earlier this year, Arizona Chief Information Officer J.R. Sloan told a virtual conference audience Thursday. Sloan was joined on a panel by several other state officials who spoke at NASCIO's virtual conference, many speaking in support of chatbots. But there are still pockets of resistance and skepticism. “Most people still want to talk to a human agent. They don’t want to talk to technology,” West Virginia Chief Technology Officer Joshua Spence said. “So are we actually helping the situation when we push them this way or not? I think the jury is still out on that.” Ryan Johnston has the story.


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NASCIO names annual 'Innovator' award winners

On Thursday, NASCIO recognized state government employees — from Colorado, Tennessee and Florida — for their work advancing government technology. The group presented three State Technology Innovator Awards to technology officials who had “made contributions to advance state technology policy through the promotion of best practices, adoption of new technologies and advancements in service delivery.” Recipients were recognized for their work in unemployment, health care and IT modernization. See who won.


Building the 'Silicon Valley of the Southwest'

Some in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have their hopes set on creating a “Silicon Valley of the Southwest” by including university researchers in the state's economic development efforts. Home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a small business incubator and several higher education institutes, Santa Fe could build something great, Liz Camacho, the city’s economic development administrator, told StateScoop. “The ecosystem exists on its own,” Camacho said. “We have to organize it, let people know about each other, somehow we need a good deal more orchestration." Ryan has more.


West Virginia signs on with Google

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday announced that the state’s executive branch agencies will start using Google’s suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration applications as their main business software. The migration, which is part of a multi-year agreement between the state and Google, is expected to affect about 22,000 employees. Justice’s office also said the move will save the state government about $11.5 million. Benjamin Freed has more details.


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