California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and former state Senator Sam Blakeslee have launched Digital Democracy, an online and interactive platform aimed at improving transparency in state government. The platform will use new research in artificial intelligence as well as big data, text, and video to provide a view into the state legislature.
Digital Democracy will use voice- and facial-recognition technology, data mining, and natural-language processing to offer residents access to state legislative hearings with a Google-like search.
The platform was developed at the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy (IATPP) at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). "We developed Digital Democracy to open up government," says IATPP's founding director Sam Blakeslee.
The platform currently can turnaround recordings of public hearings in about 10 days, but Blakeslee says the developers hope to bring it down to about three days before the end of the year.
"I think the potential for the work we are doing with the data and natural-language processing is enormous in terms of what we can do for the project and the ways in which we can use what we learn to expand into other applications," says Cal Poly graduate student Justin Roven.
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