Enabling Infrastructure for Artificial Intelligence

This blog post is an excerpt from our recent online course created in partnership with Dell, Modernizing Your IT Infrastructure to Power Artificial Intelligence in Government. Access the full course here.

The power of AI to transform government is real. Government spending on cognitive and AI solutions is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of  54.3% through 2021, followed by ongoing year-over-year growth, according to IDC.

So what does your agency need to do to make sure you’re positioned for these emerging opportunities? It comes down to understanding the associated challenges of AI, and building the proper infrastructure to handle them.

As with every new technology, AI comes with its own set of challenges, especially in the realm of data and compute. Data is the raw material of AI; the more data you have, the more accurate the AI learning process will be.

But all data is not good data. Unprocessed data is often messy, filled with duplicate files and incomplete information. Simplifying data acquisition, management, access and protection helps refine the data being processed, which informs the final result. .

Massive data sets and modern algorithms require powerful compute and cost-efficient, performance-optimized storage. This can be a challenge for federal agencies grappling with legacy IT and budget constraints.

The fact is that agencies will benefit from AI once they have the proper IT infrastructure in place to address these challenges.

There are three areas an agency’s infrastructure must be able to handle for their artificial intelligence endeavors: The internet of things or IoT, high-performance computing, and cloud.

IoT: The internet of things is about more than connecting things to each other and to the internet. The internet of things is a network of sensors that intake huge amounts of data. And IoT requires AI to make sense of the data. AI and IoT must be able to work in tandem in the right infrastructure to drive new insights that enable agencies to meet their mission needs and deliver services.

High-performance computing: Today’s big data explosion, coupled with accelerated technology, has made it possible to create AI algorithms for a number of automation use cases. Of course, using these large-scale, complex data sets is computationally intensive — and that’s where high performance computing, or HPC, comes in. While HPC was previously the domain of specialists using supercomputers, recent technological advances have made it — and thus data analytics and AI — available using small clusters and workstations. This changes the game for more traditional HPC and puts AI within reach for a wider range of use cases.

Cloud: Government today is transforming — and to do that, it must have easy and secure access to data in all locations, for all users. Where will your data live? Understanding the proper cloud operating model that protects your data capital is an important step in your AI journey.

So, how does your agency, in your current situation, start doing more with AI technologies? How do you develop the right infrastructure to influence the future arc of your organization and meet mission need?

Take the full course to learn more.


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