VA Taps Its Inaugural AI Director

American Soldier typing on laptop

The Department of Veterans Affairs has named a Harvard Medical School faculty as the first artificial intelligence director in a move to expand the technology’s role in VA care and research. 

Gil Alterovitz who also teaches at Boston Children’s Hospital was previously a Presidential Innovation Fellow and a writer of the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy’s National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, VA said July 11 in announcing his hire.

Alterovitz is currently leading a “sprint” to find AI partners for VA. This effort mirrors a “Health Tech Sprint” he co-led as a Presidential Innovation Fellow with the Department of Health and Human Services. That initiative produced apps, digital tools and technologies such as AI.  

A priority for the VA sprint is to cultivate partnerships with outside organizations that specialize in AI.

“We’re working with a few organizations that can test out small amounts of data in the VA format,” Alterovitz said in a release. “Then they can build the AI tools and develop a program that can then be used on a larger data set.”

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