NYC’s Chief Technology Officer Holds Roundtable On Tech Progress & Future Plans

Gonzalo Duran
Published on June 29, 2024, 1:54 pm
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On Thursday, June 20, 2024, New York City (NYC) Chief Technology Officer Matthew C. Fraser and the Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media held a roundtable on the administration’s technology accomplishments.

Under NYC Mayor Adams’ administration, NYC is leading the nation in the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI), providing free internet to more residents than any other American city through Big Apple Connect, and making it easier than ever for New Yorkers to access childcare subsidies and apply for jobs on MyCity. NYC Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser discussed these groundbreaking initiatives and his vision for the future of tech in NYC.

In January 2022, Mayor Adams signed Executive Order 3 to consolidate the city’s tech agencies under one umbrella—the Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI). OTI includes the city’s cybersecurity, information privacy, data, IT, telecommunications, and NYC311 operations. By streamlining efforts and breaking down silos, OTI aims to improve service delivery, democratize tech, and keep New Yorkers and their data safe.

Some of the major initiatives include:

Creation of Big Apple Connect: The nation’s largest municipally subsidized broadband program has provided access to free in-home internet and basic cable TV to 330,000 New Yorkers across 220 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) sites. More information on eligible sites is available here.

Launch of MyCity: A one-stop shop for essential city services and benefits, making it easier for New Yorkers to access childcare subsidies, information on how to own and operate a business, and find jobs and workforce development opportunities. MyCity offers services to working-class families and entrepreneurs in the city’s 10 most common non-English languages. Learn more at MyCity.

  • Since MyCity’s launch, nearly 70,000 accounts have been created, and nearly 50,000 applications have been submitted, resulting in 30,000 children potentially receiving subsidies that may have otherwise been difficult to attain or missed altogether.
  • MyCity expanded with the redesigned JobsNYC website and the new Business site, which featured the first citywide AI-powered chatbot. To date, the chatbot has fielded approximately 21,000 inquiries in the city’s 11 most common languages.

Published the nation’s first Artificial Intelligence Action Plan: Designed to drive effective and responsible AI use across city government. AI is helping keep New Yorkers safe, optimizing city services to increase efficiency, save taxpayer money, and better connect residents to essential services. Learn more about progress by visiting here.

Conference Q&A Session:

  • Is broadband now considered a basic service? In NYCHA, shelters, and other city facilities, broadband is available.
  • Will this program let you know if you qualify for other city programs when you are approved for one service? An eligibility tracker will inform you of what services you qualify for once you are in the system.
  • How is the city using AI to help New Yorkers, and what are the future implementations? Currently, AI is used for cybersecurity. Weekly, about 90 billion cyber events (threats) are filtered by AI to about 50 that require closer review, helping determine what’s critical and what’s not. AI helps keep New Yorkers safe and is used in many other areas, such as the medical field.
  • What is the budget and staffing for your office? OTI staff is roughly 1,700 employees, while the total tech workforce in NYC is approximately 7,000. The budget was not provided in the interview and was not available in time for this publication.

One key takeaway is that AI has been used for years, and the city continues to leverage it to provide services, access, and opportunities in the digital world, benefiting many New Yorkers who may not be fully aware of these advancements.

Gonzalo Duran
As a seasoned professional in both the military and civic realms, Gonzalo Duran brings a wealth of experience to his role as the Chief Executive Officer of Devil Dog USA Incorporated. A former United States Marine Sergeant, he not only leads a non-profit dedicated to supporting Veterans’ reintegration but also holds key positions in Bronx County’s political landscape, including Vice Chairman of the Bronx County Conservative Party and (C) District Leader for the 79th Assembly District. With over a decade as a CEO, Gonzalo is a multifaceted contributor to his community, excelling as an access producer, talk show host, columnist, chaplain, and advocate.