Artificial intelligence (AI) is on everyone’s mind these days. In the past few months alone, the founder of ChatGPT testified before Congress to advocate for regulating AI, and the DoD has created a task force to evaluate the national security applications of generative AI. Many governments around the globe are even working to develop regulations and rules around the use of AI in their own countries. All of this is in an effort to leverage the benefits and limit the challenges AI presents at a time when a great deal of each is still uncertain.
Governments seek ways to improve the effectiveness of their core mission – to provide public services to support the well-being of their citizens – with as much efficiency as possible. Local, state, and federal governments are all challenged with addressing the evolving demands of a growing, diverse population – and one size does not fit all. Meeting the citizen where they are in the manner they prefer is no longer optional. AI can help governments address the unique needs and demands of their constituents now, even as they are learning its limitations and how to best manage them.
AI in government can help enhance the public services delivered through process optimization, streamlining old and slow bureaucracies, and reducing the administrative load of delivering services to constituents where and when they need them most. Mining workflows to identify optimizations will accelerate operations, improving overall citizen engagement. Further, with all the data necessary to consider when making decisions, AI can help identify patterns and trends much faster than humans, so decisions about policies or rules for traffic congestion, facilities planning, or resource management can be proactively addressed and administered. And, in times of crisis or emergency, tools like process mining and optimization can enable agencies tasked with first response the ability to respond better, faster, and more holistically by analyzing past events and quickly anticipating needs.
The citizen is at the core of every government agency’s mission. While AI is modeling human intelligence – AI is not a replacement for human intelligence, empathy, morality, or emotion. AI tools like process mining and optimization cannot replace humans, but humans and organizations who embrace AI will outpace those who do not. Government agencies that embrace AI like process mining and optimization and use it as a tool to enhance their services can not only improve citizen engagement, but they can improve employee satisfaction when their employees see citizens getting what they need when they need it. Technology companies that have built their AI capabilities to incorporate the human in the loop are the ones best suited to help governments leverage AI because they understand these principles.
Governments should continue the path of proactivity toward research, development, and testing around AI in all its colors and flavors, embracing the newest in this technology so we can all determine how to take full advantage of what AI has to offer. Collaboration with other governments, universities, and private industry can provide the multi-stakeholder approach that ensures AI advancements are inclusive, beneficial, and align with citizen needs. The promise of improved public services and data-driven decision-making are vast, and a balanced, partnership approach that values collaboration and inclusive innovation are the cornerstone of success for governments interested in AI.
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