Washington DC Unveils ‘DC Compass’: A Revolutionary AI Chatbot

Washington DC recently launched ‘DC Compass’ – a beta public version of an AI chatbot that uses generative artificial intelligence to answer data-oriented civic questions and creates maps from thousands of open data sets.

For the past six months, the District has been working with Esri  – a geographic information systems (GIS) company – on the project. DC Compass is powered by Esri’s cloud-based mapping and analysis platform ArcGIS Online.

“We are excited to be chosen as the first jurisdiction to use this ground breaking technology and make our nearly 2,000 open data sets accessible to users with a simple AI-driven chatbot,” said Interim Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Stephen Miller. “You no longer need to be a data scientist or a spreadsheet wizard to analyze DC’s vast open data catalog.”

The CTO’s office is seeking users to put the new software to the test and is encouraging feedback to continue to improve the speed, accuracy, and usefulness of the platform. Users can access the Compass Online using an existing account or by creating a free community account.

“Esri is excited to collaborate on DC’s new open data resource,” said Richard Cooke, Esri’s Director of Global Business Development. “We are proud to work with the city in bringing innovations with generative artificial intelligence and GIS to a whole new audience.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Administration and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) have committed to using AI to improve city services, increase efficiency, better manage and analyze data, and create a more effective and inclusive government. Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser signed a Mayor’s Order outlining actions that the DC Government plans to undertake in order to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in government services. The Mayor also announced DC’s Artificial Intelligence Values Statement and Strategic Plan, which will ensure that the District’s use of generative AI aligns with DC values.