IBM Includes County Among Tech Pioneers

IBM Includes

County Among

Tech Pioneers

Internationally Distributed Release

Quotes Tech Director Brian Pokorny

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Brian Pokorny

COOPERSTOWN – When  computer behemoth IBM issued an internationally distributed press release yesterday on its “Watson Assistant For Citizens” tool for ensuring citizens get the information they need during the coronavirus threat, it listed Otsego County among its pioneering customers.

“The AI solution from IBM will be a great resource for the county’s residents and will help alleviate call-center volume to allow county employees to dedicate efforts elsewhere,” IBM quoted Brian Pokorny, the county’s director of Information Technology, as saying.

The service will be available within the next few days.  (Meanwhile, the COVID-19 information line for Otsego and several other counties is 211.)

“Watson Assistant” uses AI (artificial intelligence) language-processing software and search capabilities “to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19.”  For 90 days, the service is being provided at no charge.

Otsego County is listed along with Austin, Texas; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Province of Andalusia, Spain, and the Czech Republic and Poland’s Ministries of Health.  In some of those jurisdictions, people have had to wait up to two hours to get information they were seeking.

Pokorny and his department have been in great demand at 197 Main since the state of emergency was declared on the weekend of March 13-14, to enable county board committees to meet in a “virtual manner.”

Wednesday, the county board held its April meeting using Facebook Live, where there 14 reps county participate from their homes, and the public could watch via Otsego County’s Facebook page.

Pokorny is also Village of Milford mayor.

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