“Reimagining the AI Government”

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The development of AI in recent years has generated solutions to several of the foremost operational challenges governments are facing — and is now getting used to combat a world health crisis. The worldwide pandemic and ongoing economic condition have created a singular opportunity. Leaders of the government became more willing to consider bigger process changes and — at least in the current state for the time being — are less immune to adopting new technologies.

Governments have used AI in fraud detection, forecasting and limiting energy consumption, and managing budgets. Furthermore, for solving challenges, these solutions have the additional benefit of providing data for evidence-based policymaking, which strengthens support for extra use cases and enables data-driven higher cognitive processes.

AI supporting better Government

The AI-enabled tools which are deployed during the pandemic have shown policymakers and civil servants the worth of maintaining and expanding AI solutions to make more efficient operations which are responsive to people’s needs. Exhibit 1 has a number of employment cases that I have observed over-analysis about how ML and AI help within the current scenario.

Exhibit 1

The above table is based on observations.

Current shifts & Long-term implications

This automation might be a protracted-term one because it is significantly boosting productivity, reducing backlogs and freeing up resources for other priorities(Exhibit 2). This modification also brings more opportunities increasing the IT employment together with ensuring continuity of essential services during a time of emergency. Another major change due to the pandemic is people working remotely leading the accelerated shift to the digital economy. Thus increasing demand for digital government services. This digital transformation could act as an online experience which would be a quick way to find relevant services as; new parents could get a birth certificate, apply for child benefits through a consolidated platform. Such transformation would have a long term effect, even if they were made available due to the pandemic as it provides a streamlined easy experience similar to an online shopping experience to the users, these changes will tend to stay permanent. (Exhibit 3 & 4)

Probable complications

When the govt. leans on using AI, the main question that arises is are the citizens okay with the new change? There are many ways to define a good algorithm but it’s equally important to determine an algorithm which is bias-free in deciding and when protected classes of people are involved(race, gender, demographics). Determining a metric that considers all the factors in prediction along with benchmarking accuracy and ensuring fairness is important. For example, in authorisation applications we might not approve an equal number of loan applicants across genders; disproportionately favoring or affecting either gender. Algorithms might also have unintentional basis therefore, constant hypothesis testing and analysis is required while delaying with such huge data. AI and ML are more valuable when you are using them as a support, and not substitute for, human decisions. Understanding the human rationale behind the algorithm’s recommendations is important. Many public-sector systems also are using the mix of “human plus machine” for substantively making better decisions.

Conclusion

The change and uncertainty created by COVID-19 are acting as a strong catalyst for positive change in the government. ​Government must grasp the opportunity to extend their ​dependability​, reach, and ​significance ​through AI, ML and digital technologies. ​Moreover, to meet users’ rising expectations, governments should become more efficient and adaptable amid the pandemic so that they’ll have available resources to rebuild their economies. While governments move to strengthen their economies, they need to also build or rebuild and gain trust among citizens. Governments that are willing to transform themselves in these areas can expect to improve their citizens’ quality of life and ease the strain on public budgets.

Citations

https://resources.centreforpublicimpact.org/production/2018/03/CPI-Finding-a-more-Human-Government1.pdf

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/industries/public%20and%20social%20sector/our%20insights/transforming%20government%20through%20digitization/digital-by-default-a-guide-to-transforming-government-final.pdf

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/public-sector/articles/government-tech-trends.html https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/better-approach-to-ai-in-government-services

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/transforming-the-us-governments-approach-to-hiring-digital-talent

Government websites for customer experience

Motivation behind this article was to understand how Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning is bringing changes in the government sector. Feel free to put your thoughts about the article in the comments below :)

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Lisa Patel

Lisa Patel

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