Vermont merges AI and data teams, names leader

Josiah Raiche was named as head of Vermont's new data and AI team. He said the consolidation will allow the state to "tackle the big challenges."
Josiah Raiche
Chief Data and AI Officer Josiah Raiche poses for a photo between sessions at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference on May 1, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Colin Wood / Scoop News Group)

Vermont’s Agency of Digital Services combined its artificial intelligence and data teams, which will be managed by Chief Data and AI Officer Josiah Raiche, according to LinkedIn posts shared on Tuesday.

Before this month becoming the state’s chief data and AI officer, Raiche started with the Vermont state government in 2015 as a software developer, before becoming its director of artificial intelligence in September 2022.

“With the restructuring to combine the data and AI teams, we can tackle the big challenges and deliver cohesive, streamlined experiences for Vermonters,” Raiche said in a LinkedIn post about his new position. “Vermont is leading the data and AI space again, and I’m excited to be leading this great team.”

The state established a team dedicated to artificial intelligence ethics and implementation in 2022, which was led by Raiche, who has advocated for establishing a code of ethics around the use of generative AI prior to writing formal policies. 


“The goal is to take the robot jobs out of the human work,” Raiche said at a technology conference in Minneapolis last October. 

Denise Reilly-Hughes, Vermont’s chief information officer, congratulated Raiche on the job promotion in LinkedIn post, writing that the move was “well deserved.”

“You can’t have responsible AI practices without strong data policies,” Reilly-Hughes wrote.

In October, Raiche led the state’s council on AI to establish interim language and a template for state employees to use when citing the use of AI in their work. The meeting also led to discussions among the council members on how generative AI could be used in emergency scenarios.

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