Michael Curtis, executive director of GrantSolutions, discusses the value of machine learning in information and grant management, and his goals for helping people through new technologies.
The GrantSolutions office in the Department of Health and Human Services is one of several agencies on the leading edge of technology in government. To aid their mission of making government grants easier to obtain and manage, the agency has adopted new tech like artificial intelligence for data collection and aggregation. Michael Curtis, executive director of GrantSolutions, said that the value lies in information management. “The real value is understanding how the hundreds of billions of dollars that are invested have returned. We began working with a team from Johns Hopkin’s, and they then began analyzing all the data that we have in our systems because we have more information than anyone. Looking across public-source information, private-source information, looking to see how the grants can perform, will perform or have performed… That’s how we got started.” Curtis says that AI and machine learning have helped provide grants for developing vaccines and improving quality of education. Curtis says that in the future, AI will help each of the 1500 programs that GrantSolutions manages. “Whether it’s roads, training children with Head Start, vaccines, the information exists out there, but it exists in sources that are non-traditional, that have to be merged with the information we have. We will see it not in one place, but we will see it on every program we serve, and the technology is there in a way that it never has been before,” said Curtis.