#ThisWeekInData October 21, 2016

Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of civic data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a major focus at the federal level. A White House report released this month suggests that federal agencies should be experimenting with AI because the technology could improve their operations. The report envisions “DARPA-like organizations” for “high-risk, high-reward AI research and its application” in government. The White House also recommended federal agencies prioritize open training data and open data standards for AI so that systems could be trained to analyze government datasets. Read coverage of the report at NextGov.

U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil said he believes future criminal justice systems could be greatly improved by collaboration and data sharing. During the White House Frontiers Conference, Patil was joined on a panel by Rayid Ghani, Director of Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago and Knoxville, Tennessee Police Chief David Rausch, who outlined the ways in which collaboration between law enforcement, public health officials, and data scientists can create an inclusive future justice system, free of data siloes. Read details about what the panel discussed at GovTech.

Illinois signed a memorandum of understanding with Telangana, India in an effort to exchange information, ideas, and data between the two states. The agreement focuses on the potential benefits of developing “Smart State solutions” and facilitating the development of Smart Cities within the two jurisdictions. The memorandum emphasizes seven areas of cooperation including smart state solutions, government digitalization, entrepreneurship, joint innovation, joint incubators, job creation, and sharing best practices.

The city of Philadelphia has officially launched its beta website this week, which is scheduled to launch as the official site for the city next year. Features that set the beta site apart from the city’s old site include initial prompts to four of the most common citizen requests: find trash day, pay a bill, explore city jobs, and search for a property. There is also a new section about service updates and links to neighborhood resources. Read an in-depth look at the site, including an interview with the city’s Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski, at StateScoop.

The Innovation Field Lab at Harvard Kennedy School is working with five Massachusetts cities to implement new systems that promote data sharing and collaboration and help prioritize each city’s greatest areas of risk for vacant properties. Field Lab students and faculty developed a software tool called CityNexus to tag properties with keywords, specify properties with sanitary violation tickets, 911 calls, tax assessment data or unusually low or high water bills to spot potentially unoccupied or overcrowded properties. Read more about the work at NextCity.