Artificial Intelligence and how it may impact employees is front-of-mind when it comes to workforce issues, but having “organizational depth” can help ease the transition of implementing AI in a rational and beneficial way.

Acting Senior Procurement Executive for the U.S. Department of Treasury Harrison Smith spoke about achieving a balance for getting what is needed out of AI and moving quickly to attain that need for agencies. While speaking at the ACT-IAC Artificial Intelligence in the Workforce Joint Communities of Interest Meeting, Smith said that agencies should focus on a mission structure and not just place full focus agile development.

“The leadership in these particular types of organizations need to provide that type of structure—need to provide that guidance—and frankly, need to be willing to make the decisions and to take the blame,” Smith said in regard to what agency leaders need to do in finding that balance.

Smith also advocated for using the “wisdom of crowds” to help complete a task or mission and achieve the best return on investment. Asking for industry support, Smith says, is essential to maximizing that investment in implementing new technology or processes and being open to outside thinking starts at the top levels. Not being afraid of failing in small places helps in the long run and helps the workforce use AI to their advantage.

“Once you start narrowing down an area that you’re really not familiar with, in terms of the technology, once you start saying ‘be quiet, don’t think, I want you to do this,’ you have now assumed that you have the only answer and that you have the best answer and that will live forever,” Smith said, adding “and that is bad, bad, bad, bad.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.