Azure OpenAI service is now available in Azure Government

Candice Ling

In October, I shared Microsoft’s commitment to bring the latest advances in AI to support critical government needs and further drive innovation for mission critical workloads. I am thrilled to announce Azure OpenAI Service is now available in Azure Government joining a comprehensive set of existing AI Platform of services that include Azure AI Services (formerly Azure Cognitive Services), Azure Machine Learning and Azure AI Search to advance AI capabilities in government.

Azure OpenAI Service in Azure Government enables agencies with stringent security and compliance requirements to utilize this industry-leading generative AI service at the unclassified level. Microsoft is submitting Azure OpenAI Service for FedRAMP High authorization from the Joint Authorization Board (JAB). This service will be submitted for additional authorization for Department of Defense (DoD) Impact Level (IL) 4 and 5. And we will continue to make advanced AI capabilities available to the highest classification levels in the coming months.

AI platform for mission operations

Generative AI is poised to enable agencies with the ability to streamline complex processes and automate repetitive work, freeing personnel to focus on mission outcomes. Azure OpenAI Service is a flexible capability that when coupled with other AI Platform services can accelerate and augment any number of processes and roles across an organization.

Enhance productivity: Reduce time consuming tasks and free up team up to focus on higher value and more satisfying work.

Across the government, agencies spend significant amounts of time and resources in the creation of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for contracting government services. By grounding generative AI on past examples of RFPs and other relevant docs, AI can create a ready-to-edit first draft RFP helping to reduce time spent writing and creating higher quality requirements, while simplifying the process for non-contracting professionals.

In another scenario, generative AI can be applied to simplify case management by helping case workers manage heavy caseloads with AI insights, freeing them up to focus on their vulnerable constituents.

Augmented cognition: Co-reason interactively with AI on knowledge and information to augment personnel capabilities.

The creation of knowledge hubs leveraging generative AI surfaces insights and empowers teams to find information more efficiently across an organization using natural language questions.

Another way to enhance service delivery for constituents is to use real-time insights from various data sources to identify where there might be problems in delivering services. By using generative AI on large public data sets, such as social media, search engines, or public records, an agency can measure sentiment or spot emerging trends that help them make decisions and take actions that improve service delivery.

Accelerate discovery: Understand and simulate complex situations and processes to advance new discoveries.

With increased pressure to address legacy applications, countless agencies are investing in the development of modern applications for which quality, usability and security are of the utmost importance.  To that end, Azure OpenAI can be trained to recognize patterns and anomalies in code to detect possible vulnerabilities for human review. For agencies that are susceptible to financial fraud, AI becomes a valuable tool to help investigators find evidence by detecting patterns and anomalies from financial documents for personnel to review in more detail.

These scenarios are made possible because of Microsoft’s AI-specialized infrastructure and end-to-end AI platform through Azure that provides government agencies and partners the choice and flexibility in how to utilize best in class generative AI capabilities for the unique needs of their mission. Agency personnel can easily access and integrate the latest Azure OpenAI Service and further ground it on their data for more specialized and accurate intelligence or utilize open-source or bring/build their own large languages models using Azure Machine Learning.

Additionally, agencies can utilize open-source available through Azure Machine Learning, or bring/build their own large languages models (LLM).

Faster time to experimentation and innovation

With the availability of Azure OpenAI Service available in Azure Government, we are bringing AI to where your mission data resides, increasing the intelligence and insights from your existing data estate. Azure government users can request access to experiment and evaluate the use of generative AI across different scenarios to help determine which processes can be accelerated or augmented. At the same time, agencies can quickly learn what workloads are not good candidates for widespread adoption. This ability to iterate and refine quickly enables new workloads to move rapidly into production.

From experimentation to production, agencies utilizing Azure for their data and AI applications are positioned to innovate more quickly as new advanced AI services, tools, and capabilities become available in the cloud.

An example of this is within the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health. NLM is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute to develop an LLM-based tool to facilitate the patient-to-clinical trial matching process.  The model in development, TrialGPT, can select clinical trials for which a patient might be eligible based on the textual summary of their medical conditions. Such a model could be used to assist individual patients and physicians in finding eligible clinical trials from a vast collection, enhancing recruitment efficiency which can pave the way to accelerate clinical trials and their vital medical insights.

“At this early stage, our systematic evaluations show that the innovative architecture of TrialGPT can accurately predict a patient’s clinical trial eligibility and effectively explain why a patient is eligible,” said Dr. Zhiyong Lu, Senior Investigator at NLM.

Control and protect your data

Keeping data safe is a fundamental aspect of the Azure OpenAI Service. This includes ensuring that prompts and proprietary data aren’t used to further train the model. While Azure OpenAI Service can use in-house data as allowed by the agency, inputs and outcomes are not made available to Microsoft or others using the service. Your embeddings and training data are:

  • Not available to other customers
  • Not available to OpenAI nor to train other models
  • Not used to improve any Microsoft or third-party products or services
  • Not used to fine-tune Azure OpenAI models for your use in your resource unless you chose to fine-tune models with your own training data

In other words, your data is your data.  Proprietary information, from prompts to core data sets, remain at the boundary of Azure Government and do not become part of the model’s training foundation. Also, Microsoft supports government data compliance practices and helps agencies implement their data governance plans more easily with Microsoft Purview.

Championing the AI Executive Order​​

The White House recently issued its Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence which lays out a comprehensive approach to leverage the enormous opportunities around AI, while managing AI risks. Microsoft is committed to supporting the government agencies to responsibly deploy AI aligned to the principles of the Executive Order.

As a leader in AI research, development, and responsibility, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support local, state and federal agencies in navigating the complexities of AI deployment. Microsoft is committed to advancing AI responsibly, putting our core AI principles into practice across the company. Microsoft’s AI development and use is guided by six enduring principles for fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability.

Get started with Azure OpenAI Service today in Azure Government

By making Azure OpenAI Service available in government clouds, Microsoft remains committed to enabling government transformation with AI.  Along with delivering innovations that helps drive missions forward, we make AI easy to procure, easy to access, easy to implement. Microsoft is committed to delivering more advanced AI capabilities across classification levels in the coming months.

As next steps, we invite you to:

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  • Mac Real 0

    Very much enjoyed your article 🤔. Kinda makes me wanna start a bunch of new businesses now✨ 😉

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