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CDC Explores Generative AI for Public Health Initiatives

Specialized applications

CDC Explores Generative AI for Public Health Initiatives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is experimenting with an artificial intelligence service to streamline tasks, including website updates and school closure monitoring, according to Alan Sim, the agency’s chief data officer.

Sim explained that the service, a customized Microsoft Azure Open AI that operates within the CDC’s cloud environment, is designed to provide the agency’s technical staff a space for innovation, allowing them to develop specialized applications and reduce reliance on third-party sites, FedScoop reported.

Currently, the CDC has 15 active pilots exploring generative AI applications in areas such as HIV, polio containment, communications, survey design and public comment analysis. Sim noted that initial responses to the pilots have been positive, suggesting AI tools improve data analysis, efficiency and productivity.

One key pilot involves AI-assisted website maintenance, which reduces the manual labor involved in updates across the agency. The CDC is also developing an AI prototype to track school closures via social media, potentially replacing the manual process used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the CDC is developing an agency-wide AI strategy, with a focus on establishing principles for the responsible and beneficial use of AI in public health. Sim revealed that the strategy is expected to be released in late spring or early summer.

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Tags: artificial intelligence Centers for Disease Control and Prevention federal civilian FedScoop generative AI Microsoft Azure