Google launches more cloud tools for government agencies and educators

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Google Cloud has taken the lead in helping the U.S. government disburse billions of dollars in much-needed emergency rental and housing assistance funding that has yet to be claimed.

It is believed that there are millions of people across the United States who are entitled to some sort of financial support due to the hardships faced during the coronavirus pandemic. Yet only $ 7.7 billion of the more than $ 46 billion in federal funding that has been set aside to help people pay their rent and catch up on their utility bills has so far been claimed.

Google says more than 3,000 counties are struggling to provide emergency funding to their citizens, burdened by slow systems and older technologies that cannot keep pace. To change that, Google today announced the launch of a new “public service rental and housing solution” at its annual government and education summit.

The Public Interest Solution is a suite of tools for state and local governments that aims to replace the outdated legacy systems they rely on with easy-to-use online tools. In addition to providing a streamlined portal for people to apply for and receive rental and housing assistance, with artificial intelligence tools like Document AI used to quickly process applicants’ documents, Google provides fraud detection and verification of complaints.

The solution also provides tools to governments to help people interested in retraining and finding employment; communication modules for local governments to better communicate with voters online and through call centers; and tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to help governments assess voter sentiment and likely political outcomes.

Google Cloud’s public benefit solution for rental and housing has already been leveraged by Hamilton County, Ohio. Officials in the county, Ohio’s third largest in terms of population, turned to Google during the height of the pandemic as they struggled to shell out federal money quickly enough and risked being canceled .

“Hamilton County has turned to Google Cloud Public Service Solutions, which can scale to meet any workload with nothing more than an Internet connection,” said Mike Daniels, vice -President of the global public sector at Google Cloud. “Families could quickly see if they were qualified to get help, then apply online or over the phone. After just a day of training, staff could access claims processing, fraud detection, approvals and payments – all in half the time of the old system.

The utility solution is just one of the many ways that Google seeks to provide assistance to government agencies. In another partnership announced today, Google revealed that it is working with the Oklahoma State Office of Management and Enterprise Services to create a new centralized data hub that can access data from several agencies and analyze them.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services provides Oklahoma state agencies with a wide range of services, including financial assistance, human resources, property management, and more. But until now, each agency was limited to using their own siled data repository, meaning they weren’t able to compare with other data sources.

Built on Google Cloud’s BigQuery serverless data warehouse service, the new data hub will help state agencies more accurately and quickly identify needs and services, deploy targeted social programs faster, and create personalized recommendations that direct citizens to the right services, Google said.

Foster student success

Google’s public good initiatives don’t stop at helping governments. Education, as always, is another top priority and the company is announcing new services in this area aimed at helping educators develop individualized learning.

Google today announced that it is expanding its portfolio of student success services with a new AI-powered learning platform designed to help educators develop a more individualized curriculum and create opportunities for students. more dynamic and on-demand learning for students.

The platform consists of various applications and application programming interfaces that can be integrated into the existing IT infrastructure of a school or university. Teachers can create skill charts for their students and integrate them into the platform, which then uses AI to automatically generate learning activities based on those skills. Students can then access these activities through an app.

One of the most appealing aspects of the student app is that it includes an “interactive AI tutor” that is able to provide individualized and scalable guided practice and coaching for reading and writing comprehension. So, for example, it can generate focused questions based on specific reading materials to help students understand and practice new concepts in a way that meets their learning needs, Google said.

Southern New Hampshire University said it has already deployed Google’s Extended Student Success Services to help its more than 3,000 students on campus and more than 160,000 online learners.

“We are partnering with Google Cloud to create an AI-powered system that supports this new model of learner orientation, with an initial focus on recognizing who our learners are and what makes them. motivates, ”said Travis Willard, Product Manager at SNHU. “For example, with this platform, a student can see automatically generated and personalized course recommendations based on their background, interests and career goals. We’re excited to explore the additional learning assistance students will receive with this new learning platform, from lesson planning to tutoring.

Facilitate cloud deployments

A final announcement from Google’s government and education summit today spoke of a new sandbox environment for public sector organizations to experiment with new cloud technologies without any risk, before deploying them further. widely.

As Google explains, when it comes to developing new technology, public sector organizations need to plan very carefully, not only to ensure that they don’t exceed their budgets, but also to avoid any disruption to business. existing services they provide.

To help you out, Google announced a new service called RAD Lab, which is a sandbox environment hosted by Google Cloud that allows technology teams to move quickly from research and development to deployment. The idea is to help organizations to prototype and accelerate the implementation of new cloud environments through experimentation, without any risk to their existing infrastructure.

“With RAD Lab, government agencies, labs and university IT departments can quickly create cloud environments for inexperienced and experienced users,” Google explained in a blog post. “With streamlined processes and simple tools, RAD Lab users can easily launch projects in just a few hours. “

Google has many early adopters ready to validate the new service. In this case, the US Patent and Trademark Office said it is using RAD Lab to enable new internal research and development in the areas of AI, machine learning, data science, enterprise architecture, etc. The agency’s research teams have already used RAD Lab’s sandbox environments on several occasions to examine ideas and develop prototypes that can evolve, before deploying them more widely.

“Cloud computing is part of our drive to modernize and transform our agency’s technology to serve our mission,” said Jamie Holcombe, USPTO chief information officer. “RAD Lab enables our staff, from technical specialists to economists and business experts, to create, test and validate new cloud solutions to meet critical agency needs. “

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE that the announcements made by Google today are part of a larger effort by the company to maintain its strong position in key cloud verticals.

“Google started making verticals important for clouds two and a half years ago and the industry followed suit,” Mueller said. To stay ahead, Google Cloud now needs to venture further into the application space, as it is doing with its government finds disbursement offering and the new AI-powered learning platform for it. ‘Higher Education.”

Image: Google

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