GovEx launches City AI Connect, a global community for cities to explore generative AI

Oct 18, 2023 | Blog

Today at Bloomberg Philanthropies CityLab 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies and GovEx announced the release of City AI Connect, a new global learning community and platform for local governments to explore, collaborate, and accelerate the use of generative artificial intelligence to improve public services (read the full announcement here).

“From eliminating processing delays for vital public services – like SNAP benefits, housing vouchers, and drivers licenses – to transforming the ways local government can interact and service residents, there is extraordinary opportunity for generative artificial intelligence to upend the way cities engage with and deliver for communities – for the better,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation Program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “At today’s Mayors Innovation Studio at Bloomberg CityLab 2023, mayors from across the globe got their hands in the clay of new generative artificial intelligence tools – and committed to participating in City AI Connect so they can go on the journey of discovering, advancing, and implementing important applications – and protections – for this emerging technology, together.”

Beth Blauer, Associate Vice Provost for Public Innovation and founder of the Bloomberg Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University, led a session today at CityLab detailing five things mayors can do today to prepare their cities for generative AI. She and GovEx’s Research and Analytics worked with Bloomberg Philanthropies to develop the new platform, which GovEx will maintain.

“From predicting disease spread to preventing homelessness, generative artificial intelligence can radically improve the innerworkings of cities, and introduce new opportunities to deliver for residents,” said Blauer. “As this technology moves at a breakneck pace, City AI Connect will provide local governments with an accessible, vibrant hub through which they can socialize learnings, build partnerships, and transfer implementation knowledge—increasing their ability to adapt tools to local needs—alongside peers driving towards this same mission worldwide.”

GovEx is also one of the JHU programs that will contribute to the university’s recently-announced data science and translation institute, which will include 80 new affiliated faculty and 30 Bloomberg Distinguished Professors dedicated to data and the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems across a range of critical fields, including public sector innovation. City AI Connect and this new institute are part of JHU’s expanded focus on data science and AI, as affirmed in Provost Ron Daniels’ Ten for One list of university-wide priorities: “Create the leading academic hub for data science and artificial intelligence to drive research and teaching in every corner of the university and magnify our impact in every corner of the world.”