Broadnax’s Permit Department To Explore AI Benefits

AI concept
AI concept | Image by MR.Cole_Photographer/Getty Images

Artificial intelligence could eventually enhance call center assistance, zoning consultations, and permit consultations in Dallas.

Dallas’ Development Services Department (DSD) has partnered with Information & Technology Services (ITS) to draft a plan around artificial intelligence (AI) automation and its best-use cases. While DSD has not engaged in any application-specific discussions, the department and ITS are currently working on a future agenda item involving procurement efforts, according to a presentation given to the Dallas City Council’s Economic Development Committee (EDC) on April 1.

DSD Assistant Director Vernon Young told committee members that the department would start by partnering with ITS and procurement to determine the standards for AI. After standards are established, Young said the department would let ITS take the lead on AI and leave DSD as the end-user.

Although DSD will not be directly involved in the AI set-up process, Young told committee members that the department would continue to provide suggestions on specific ways to utilize the technology.

“Right now, we’re in the early stages of exploring [AI] and trying to determine the different ways we can utilize this great new technology, making sure that we’re within the guidelines of the City and procurement as we move forward,” explained Young.

Young emphasized that DSD would heavily rely on its ITS and procurement partners, who are considered the experts in AI technology.

“We just want to make sure that we as a department are at the forefront of this technology and that we find a way to utilize it that helps with our customer service and efficiencies,” Young added.

According to DSD’s latest presentation, the department plans to leverage its AI subject matter experts to expand and potentially include things like “call center assistance,” “zoning consultation,” and “permit consultation.”

However, before DSD and ITS utilize AI, they want to fully understand the technology and how other cities have incorporated it into their respective development processes.

Dallas’ Government Performance and Financial Management Committee (GFPM) was scheduled to meet with representatives of Florida-based software firm AutoReview.AI in late March, but scheduling conflicts postponed the discussion to a later date.

District 1 Council Member Chad West, chair of GFPM, has been a strong advocate for incorporating AI automation throughout Dallas’ permit intake and review processes.

“We need that here in Dallas,” West previously told The Dallas Express. He explained that if Dallas starts to utilize AI, the City’s development workflow will improve, builders will save time and money, and costs will be reduced, among other benefits.

Autoreview.AI added that its state-of-the-art technology has profoundly impacted the site plan review process in Altamonte, Florida, the nation’s first city to deploy the technology.

“This revolutionary advancement in technology improves accuracy and efficiency, resulting in valuable time and money savings for local governments and developers,” Autoreview.AI said of its AI software, DX reported.

DSD previously struggled with hefty permit backlogs and substantial delays in turnaround times under City Manager T.C. Broadnax. The city manager recently announced he would resign in early June after seven years during which Dallas saw increases in crime, taxes, and City spending.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article