Alexa, When Is Garbage Day?

Amazon’s Alexa technology is helping residents get the information they need from local governments.

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Government technology is notorious for being old fashioned and out of date. Just go into any local municipal office and gaze in wonder at the green-screened desktop computers straight out of the 1990s.

But some towns are zooming into the future. Raleigh, N.C., has turned to Amazon’s Alexa to help citizens get answers to common questions about zoning, police and fire and even traffic conditions. You can read more about how the AI future is coming to local government here.

Government Agencies Move Slowly, Startups Are Here To Help

A San Francisco-based program is pairing startups with government agencies to help solve real-world problems.

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Dealing with any government agency can be extremely frustrating. Departments are usually using technology straight out of 1990s which means everything takes twice as long as it needs to.

Since 2014, San Francisco has been trying to build better government through the Startup in Residence Program (STiR) which pairs startups with civic agencies to solve real-world problems. Now the program has expanded to 11 other cities and is looking to grow to 100 cities in the near future.

At the most recent demo day, startups showed off new technology to help better direct 311 calls, organize engaged citizens and use artificial intelligence to better communicate through chatbots.

You can read more about the STiR demo day here.