Democracy’s Library Leads a Workshop at International GovTech Conference

Internet Archive Canada’s Executive Director, Andrea Mills, and Jamie Joyce from Internet Archive discuss unlocking gov docs using AI at FWD50 2023

FWD50 is an international govtech conference which, since 2017, has been bringing together global leaders working to innovate government from the inside and out. This year’s gathering in Ottawa featured Jennifer Pahlka (founder of Code for America), the Honourable Anita Anand (President of the Treasury Board for the Government of Canada), his Excellency Saeed Al Mulla (from the Department of Government Enablement in Abu Dhabi), and dozens more – including the Andrea Mills and Jamie Joyce from Internet Archive Canada and Internet Archive.

In their 90 minute workshop, Andrea and Jamie demonstrated the power of using AI not only to make each government document more accessible by improving metadata and the output of digitization efforts, but they also walked government officials through the possibilities of using AI to perform higher order government functions, like modeling deliberation, structuring policy, and creating more robust representations of constituent’s sentiments on policy issues.

“My humility and imagination about what AI can do tripled watching your presentation.”– Workshop Attendee

Because the conference was occurring at the same time as OpenAI’s DevDay, the workshop also included an overview of OpenAI’s new offerings, including the new possibilities with GPT4 Turbo. By showing off these new capabilities, both those recently announced by OpenAI and capabilities currently deployed at the Internet Archive and Internet Archive Canada, Andrea and Jamie invited participants to think big about how AI can transform their work in government.

By the end of the workshop, attendees wrote out descriptions of their daily professional work, detailed how they currently use AI, identified their pain points, and dreamt up new services they want to exist to make their work more efficient and impactful.

Andrea and Jamie brought these learnings back from the conference, hoping to inform potential services that Democracy’s Library, and its partners, may be able to provide to help bring democracy more so into the digital age.

We thank FWD50 for the invitation to present and participate in this fabulous event! It’s truly an honor to be among so many passionate and incredible innovators and public servants.

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