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AI Toolkit: Navigating the Future of Government Affairs

Learn what the rise of AI might mean for your industry, how you can leverage AI tools in your job, and the legislation you should be watching.

AI in Government Affairs

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Navigating the intricate landscape of government affairs and advocacy demands a strategic approach, and that is certainly true for the uncertain terrain of artificial intelligence. Packed with tips from pros, practical strategies, and policy insights, this toolkit empowers professionals to engage, advocate, and influence decisions that will shape the future of their states and organizations.

What does the rise of AI mean for your industry and job? How can you leverage the tools? What legislation and regulations should you be watching locally and globally? Read on for answers to these questions and more.

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What Does the Rise of AI Mean for the Government Affairs Industry?

The proliferation of AI has the potential to transform nearly every industry, and government affairs is certainly no exception. AI tools are emerging with capabilities that could rewrite much of how this industry works.

“It seemingly unleashed 10 years of efficiencies overnight,” says Joseph Hoefer, vice president of government relations and public affairs at Monument Advocacy. He explains that a task “that would normally take two or three hours to do, with the right prompt and the right data, you can do in 45 seconds.”

While it seems clear that AI will impact the government affairs and advocacy industries, questions remain regarding exactly what those impacts will be and how you can prepare for them. Key use cases for AI in government affairs include:

  • Bill analysis and summary
  • Bill comparison
  • Discover policy trends and track behavior
  • Tools for grassroots advocacy

While AI undoubtedly possesses the potential to make government affairs and advocacy easier, it has drawbacks just like any technology. It’s important that you carefully assess a tool’s features and limitations so you can use the technology to its full potential.

For example, “the amount of bias with the data sets is problematic,” Hoefer says. AI algorithms are trained on data from existing publications that might be biased, and developers are still devising ways to make AI outputs more objective. If lobbyists aren’t careful or don’t use the right tools, the biases in AI algorithms can impact the quality and accuracy of their analyses.

Factual accuracy is another significant concern when using AI. Users of some generic AI tools (not specific for government affairs) have obtained outputs filled with inaccuracies. While these algorithms will likely become more accurate over time, it’s important to select specialized tools and always have a human review component.

 

AI and Government: Policy Insights and Best Practices to Stay Ahead

As AI technology continues to advance and become more widely available, government affairs professionals need to understand how it will impact their work and the policies they’re advocating for.

Going a step further, AI can even streamline workflows and help teams be more productive — if you know how to use it. But as AI becomes increasingly sophisticated, it is essential to understand the ethical and regulatory implications of its use.

Watch our recorded webinar to learn from industry experts and policymakers on how AI is already revolutionizing public policy and issues management. Our panel of speakers explore key questions and controversies surrounding the use of AI, legislative and regulatory developments, and how you can test, and use AI tools to be even better at your job.

Watch now or read the recap

   

AI for government affairs

The ESG Implications of AI Technology

Corporations large and small should be particularly concerned about the environmental, social, and governance-related (ESG) risks of this new and powerful technology.

Ethical Concerns of Generative AI

Social Implications

Many companies are turning to AI-based tools to make hiring processes simpler; some are exploring the technology’s ability to make firing decisions, too.

AI systems can inherit biases from historical data, which may perpetuate existing inequalities and discrimination in practices such as hiring and promoting. While modern ESG strategies may focus heavily on improving outcomes for certain groups based on race, gender, age, or other characteristics, leaning too heavily on AI for HR decision-making may interfere with ESG objectives.

On the flip side, properly trained AI models could have enormously positive effects on existing discriminatory practices and systems. It could reduce bias in hiring by focusing purely on skills and qualifications, identifying talent from a wider range of sources, and using detailed analytics to improve workplace design to create more inclusive environments.

Governance Challenges

Governments are paying increasing attention to AI technology, resulting in a new wave of policies and regulations that will create new compliance risks for companies. Already, corporations must comply with data protection and privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. In October, President Biden released an executive order on AI issuing new standards for AI safety and security, privacy, equity, and responsible government use of AI.

The data collected for AI applications or shared with third-party AI service providers may be misused or mishandled, potentially leading to privacy violations and legal repercussions. Additionally, data breaches can lead to unauthorized access, disclosure of sensitive information, and reputational damage.

Environmental Implications

One often overlooked consequence of a world that runs on AI is the significant computing power required. Most data centers today are powered by fossil fuels and consume vast amounts of water for cooling. Ed Watal, CEO at Intellibus, a software company, is concerned about the environmental impact of generative AI. “Per BCG’s analysis,” he explains, “total data center energy consumption may grow closer to 7.5 percent [of global totals] by 2030. Generative AI is supposed to contribute to about 1 percent of that.”

Best Practices for AI in 2024 and Beyond

Bias and Fairness

Ensure AI instructions are ethical and comply with all regulations. Also, make sure AI algorithms are trained on diverse and representative datasets and regularly audited for bias, and implement mitigation strategies such as debiasing and fairness testing.

Data Privacy and Security

Companies must adhere to best-practice data minimization and consent principles, and ensure that individuals are aware of how their data is used in AI systems. Companies need clear policies on data retention and disposal to avoid holding onto unnecessary data for extended periods, which could increase the risk of breaches.

Human Oversight

While AI can help employees make decisions, complete tasks faster, and improve completeness and accuracy, it should not replace human judgment entirely. Ensure your policies enforce comprehensive human oversight of AI systems and provide employees with a mechanism for appealing AI-generated decisions.

     

AI-Driven Advocacy: How to Leverage Tech to Improve Your Campaigns

Advocacy organizations have a lot on their plates, and any tool that can save them time and energy while still producing high-quality work is a valuable addition to their toolkit. With the rise of AI, it’s no surprise that many advocacy professionals are exploring new tools to help them with their work.

AI can be particularly useful for writing and editing advocacy content, improving email campaigns, and creating multimedia content. Whether you’re a seasoned advocacy professional or just starting out, AI tools have the potential to revolutionize the way you work and help you achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

Create Advocacy Content with AI Tools

Some advocacy professionals are hesitant to employ AI tools to create content, but William Devoe, director of communications and advocacy at Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, said they should be willing to let go of some control and allow AI to do its thing.

“Sometimes we hesitate to take the human factor out of things, but time is money,” he advised at a recent VoterVoice advocacy event. “See if you can automate some of that stuff and free up some of your time. I would encourage [you] to play around with ChatGPT and give it some prompts and see what it does for you.”

Optimize Advocacy Communications With AI Features

Another practical use for AI is to improve your emails to advocates and get them to take action. Since inboxes are flooded with hundreds of emails every day, it’s vital to use the subject lines and email text most likely to hold their attention.

An advocacy platform like VoterVoice offers built-in AI that uses open and click rate best practices to prompt suggestions to your email copy to get the best results. This makes it easier to compose effective emails by highlighting best practices and offering suggestions as you write. You also get data-driven suggestions on subject line and message length, phrases that trigger spam filters, and the number, type, and placement of links. You can even maximize your impact by ensuring you send messages at peak open and action times with VoterVoice’s email scheduling feature.

AI as Your Personal Assistant at Work

In addition to helping directly with advocacy work, AI can help with a variety of other daily work tasks. From helping you draft a cover letter or resume to collating information on any topic, AI can act as a personal assistant to help you be more productive and effective in your job. One example is Reclaim, a smart calendar tool that helps you schedule your time. With Reclaim, you can auto-block time for tasks and routines, find the best time for one-on-one meetings, and add breaks and travel time around meetings.

Pair AI With Your Advocacy Software Solution

The AI built into VoterVoice provides real-time suggestions to instantly improve your communications and campaign effectiveness. You can easily see which issues are firing up your advocates, then maximize email success using SmartCheck, an embedded tool that makes call-to-action recommendations based on the most up-to-date best practices. Plus, VoterVoice’s advocate ranking and issue tracking technology help you understand which supporters are most active and which issues spur the most responses.

     

5 Local Government Tracking Challenges AI Can Take Off Your Plate

Today’s public affairs professionals face a daunting challenge: smaller teams are expected to monitor a larger volume of issues every year. But keeping up with policy issues at the local level is no simple task, with every unit of government posting information in its own format, on its own timeline, and with its own local vernacular.

To keep up with the growing workload, public affairs professionals are turning to technology to eliminate as much busy work as possible. Local government monitoring software is key to overcoming these five common challenges related to finding and monitoring local legislation:

1. Weeding through thousands of irrelevant documents in case they mention anything relevant

Since it’s impossible to attend every committee meeting of even one mid-sized city, most public affairs professionals cobble together a patchwork of technological aids to help them stay on top of their policy issues. But these systems can create an overwhelming amount of documents to weed through.

Using a combination of Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing technologies, Curate, a FiscalNote company, examines the context around each keyword to determine its relevance to the overall topic. The algorithm is trained on a data set that is constantly being refined by our team of human experts. With machine learning, Curate can collect a more comprehensive set of documents and filter it effectively by evaluating the context of each mention before sending it directly to your inbox.

2. Missing an item because you weren’t tracking the exact phrase used in a particular locality

One of the biggest challenges of local government affairs is that no two cities do everything the same way. This is evident in the language they use. For example, throughout the country, the permit needed to excavate within the public right of way might be called a “street opening permit,” a “road cutting permit,” or a “right of way permit,” just to name a few.

If all you have is a keyword lookup service that uses Boolean search logic, you must add each of these variations into the search rules. But since Curate’s machine learning algorithms are trained on data sets from all over the country, they automatically capture the subtle — or sometimes dramatic — differences in language used across local governments to discuss any of the 370+ topics we monitor.

3. Missing critical info when municipalities add updates to already published documents

When a city or county uploads an agenda document for the first time, it may not always be complete; sometimes a staffer will replace it with a revised version a few days later. Unless you’re checking the site constantly and comparing the current version to any previous one you’ve downloaded, you won’t notice the difference — meaning you’d miss any relevant mentions added to it.

Curate makes sure you never miss new information, even if you’ve already reviewed a document. Relying on machine learning, Curate can determine whether the information that was added is something you need to see (such as adding a vote on an issue to an agenda) or if it’s just a minor, irrelevant change (like adding a stamp of approval to a document).

4. Googling city names to figure out whether an item falls in your coverage area

Traditional local government tracking services typically only provide the name of the community where a relevant document was found. Curate saves time by including an interactive map feature in your dashboard. Each item in your report has a corresponding pin on the map where you can see a feed showing all the latest documents relevant to that topic published by that community. Not only does this eliminate the tedious step of looking up locations, but it also helps you visualize trends happening around your state.

5. Missing agenda items from cities that are too small to track

Many local government monitoring tools have a limited range, covering only the 200 largest cities or cities with more than 50,000 people. But public affairs teams know that some of the most damaging local policies can come out of towns as small as two or three thousand residents. That’s why Curate tracks more than 12,000 cities and counties across the country, covering communities with as few as 2,000 residents.

     

The Biggest Challenges Facing Government Affairs Pros and How to Solve Them

Leveraging technology can help you do more with less, save time, and build a successful government affairs strategy — here’s how.

Enhancing Risk Intelligence Strategies with Technology & AI-Driven Tools

Risk intelligence plays a crucial role in ensuring the success and resilience of high-level companies and government agencies. As risks become more complex and interconnected, organizations must leverage technology, including AI-driven tools, to enhance their risk intelligence strategies. Learn about the importance of technology in risk intelligence and how AI-powered tools can revolutionize how risks are identified, monitored, and mitigated.

Leveraging AI to Better Monitor Key Topics

Effective risk intelligence relies on the ability to monitor relevant topics and detect emerging trends and threats. Traditional methods of topic monitoring can be clunky and time-consuming, often resulting in missed signals or delayed responses. That’s where AI-powered tools come into play.

AI can help you quickly determine and find what themes and keywords you want to track. A tool like Predata’s Topic Builder feature does just that. “Users get suggestions of things related to the subject they want to track,” says Steven Childress, director of product management at Predata. “Then we take that prompt and ask artificial intelligence to learn what it is and figure out different aspects of it.” From there, users get a list of categories to track, along with associated web pages.

AI-Driven Tools for Risk Intelligence

Geopolitical and Risk Analysis

AI-driven tools offer advanced capabilities in geopolitical and risk analysis. These tools can analyze complex data sets, including news articles, social media feeds, and financial indicators to identify geopolitical risks, economic trends, and potential disruptions. By leveraging these tools, risk intelligence professionals can gain a comprehensive understanding of the global landscape and make proactive decisions.

Measuring True Campaign Effectiveness

Traditional campaign evaluation methods often fail to measure risk intelligence campaigns’ true impact and effectiveness. But AI-powered tools have the potential to be far more powerful. For instance, Predata’s Campaigns tool is built with radar charts that enable users to see how audiences have changed their attention over time, Dwyer says. These tools can help organizations quantify the success of their risk intelligence initiatives by analyzing data on relevant metrics.

AI Fraud Detection Tools

Fraud poses a significant risk to organizations, both financially and reputationally. AI and machine learning programs can potentially help with text mining, database searches, social network analysis, and anomaly detection, according to TechTarget. “This could be extended to things such as fraudulent use of cloud services, for example, an Office 365-based phishing attack from a hijacked account.” By implementing these tools, risk intelligence professionals can enhance their fraud detection capabilities and minimize losses.

Workflow Tools

While secure platforms like Predata are essential in handling confidential information, third-party workflow tools can assist in handling non-sensitive information efficiently. Tools like ChatGPT, Grammarly, and transcription and summarization tools can streamline document creation, proofreading, and outlining large amounts of information. Integrating these tools can save time, enhance productivity, and ensure accuracy in otherwise time-consuming daily tasks.

Considerations & Risks of AI in Risk Intelligence

Privacy and Security Concerns

Risk intelligence often deals with sensitive and confidential data. When selecting the best technology for the job, organizations must ensure that robust privacy and security measures are in place. Tools like Predata offer separation of customer data, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure.

Inherent Bias and Errors

AI tools can exhibit biases and errors, especially when trained on subjective or incomplete data. Risk intelligence professionals should be aware of these limitations and rely on human expertise to critically assess and validate the outputs of AI tools.

Monitoring Evolving Policies

As AI becomes more prevalent, policy and regulatory frameworks surrounding its use are rapidly evolving. Some of the key policy issues Congress is addressing include data privacy, algorithmic accountability, and the use of AI in high-risk situations such as nuclear weapons launches. Professionals need to stay informed about these developments and ensure that their tools remain compliant with changing requirements.

     

Unveiling AI Policy Insights: Global Trends and Regulatory Strategies

With the increasing adoption and integration of artificial intelligence across sectors, policy frameworks around the world are trying to catch up with fast-paced developments. From laws in Japan to prevent imitation products in the metaverse, and in Brazil to restrict the use of copyright content in AI, to more than 300 bills across the federal and state governments in the United States looking to regulate AI, the landscape is quickly becoming more complicated.

Watch our recorded webinar for a virtual discussion on all things AI policy in the United States, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. In 45 minutes, you’ll gain valuable insights from policy experts and industry leaders, empowering you to address key challenges and tap into emerging opportunities from AI policy.

Short on time? Watch the recap video in under three minutes, or watch the full recording.

FiscalNote Leverages AI to Help You Work Smarter and Push Your Issues Forward

FiscalNote’s patented AI technology empowers you with the information and tools you need to make smarter decisions and navigate complex situations. Our Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities allow our database of global legislative and regulatory data, elected officials, and government contacts to be seamlessly integrated into your internal processes.

FiscalNote enables you to predict future event outcomes, spot trends, map and engage the right stakeholders, understand a policymaker’s effectiveness on the issues you care about, craft a more effective regulatory strategy, and much more. Our one-way API integration data includes information on the policy, people, and activity that matters most. We cover legislation and regulations, government and elected officials, and teamwide actions and engagements, so your issues are covered across the board.

Interested in learning more about how our AI capabilities can help? Request a demo to learn how FiscalNote’s AI-powered tools can help you enhance your work, become more nimble, and advance your career.

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