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Education Department Engages Generative AI Vendors in Technology Deployment Moves

AI initiatives

Education Department Engages Generative AI Vendors in Technology Deployment Moves

The Department of Education is moving forward on investing in artificial intelligence, with vendor community engagement on enterprise generative AI among the department’s technology development efforts.

An ED spokesperson confirmed to FedScoop the department’s conditional approval of public generative AI but added that the technology is not yet used within the agency. The recent public disclosure of the department’s AI use shows just two cases, FedScoop reported Monday.

The department uses AI in its Federal Student Aid, featuring an Aidan Chatbot as a virtual assistant to answer inquiries on financial aid and federal assistance on StudentAid.gov. The other AI use is in ED’s Office of Finance and Operations, which banks on an IPAC Workflow bot for downloading, formatting and uploading financial records.

According to the spokesperson, ED is setting up a mechanism for the review and approval of generative AI use. An initial guidance on the technology has been provided to all department employees and contractors, with the final roadmap being crafted to align with President Joe Biden’s executive order on secure, safe and trustworthy AI. 

In September, advocacy groups urged DE and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop additional guidance to the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights as further protection of students’ civil rights. 

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