Adoption of AI in the government agencies
Is your agency ready to thrive in the age of AI?
Adoption of AI in the government can improve citizen outcomes and help achieve your agency’s mission.
The constant development of artificial intelligence recently has brought solutions for several pressing challenges that the government face. One of them is witnessed by all, i.e. to combat a global health crisis.
In recent years, governments have been using AI to –
✓ Manage budget
✓ Identify frauds
✓ Forecast and control energy usage, etc.
Additionally, AI in the government has been leveling up to help agencies in generating data for evidence-based policymaking, and data-driven decision making. As the private companies have already made cutting-edge investments, it’s time for the public sector as well to expand the horizons for the applications of AI.
AI in the public sector
While some governments have used AI to restructure some services and reducing expenses, many government agencies are a little behind in adopting full digital transformation. The decision-makers are hesitant to accept major changes following the investment required owing to scrutiny and bureaucratic processes.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn have created opportunities for government to open the doors for process modifications and AI adoption in government.
“All of a sudden, the risk of being constant with no action seems greater than the risk of adopting new technology and processes”
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How does AI help the government?
Owing to the pandemic, the citizens and businesses are relying on the city, regional, state, or national government agencies for answers to their questions related to medical aid and supplies, employment of personnel, etc.
On the contrary, governments have to figure out ways to continuing the activities safely such as waste collection, public transport, mailing services, and other necessities.
Utilizing AI Tools during the pandemic, civil servants and policymakers have witnessed the value of maintaining and widening AI solutions to make operations smooth and efficient, that quickly address people’s needs.
For instance, the US Department of Health and Human Services is implementing AI for evaluating procurement data, reduce buying time, plan contracts, and get clarity on their spending process across the agency.
It is great that the government is bringing in AI initiatives, but they can look up to companies that have applied machine learning and predictive analytics for improving user experience to apply machine learning in the government sector.
Though the opportunities for AI to improvise the functions of government are clear, the obstacles to slow the application of AI also exist. Change management becomes difficult also because cross-functional management is not a standard practice in all government agencies. This leads to limited AI use cases in government to specific departments or sectors.
If a broader perspective of AI implementation is not there, then AI tools cannot reach their full potential.
Here are a few strategies that leaders can undertake to overcome such limitations while implementing AI –
1. Have a strategy in place – If you are planning an agency-wide AI adoption process, then you need to set a clear vision to ensure that your employees and other departments are functioning in a well-organized manner.
2. Achieve big with small steps – If you are envisioning a large-scale change for adopting AI in your government agency, then you need to start with smaller projects which yield high impacts to build credibility and enthusiasm. Failures and successes from these projects can help leaders to avoid such problems for future process changes.
Pilot projects are ideal in such scenarios to make a big case study for implementing AI technologies.
3. Be open to exploring options – Yes, leaders cannot test every idea. So, accept the group of options that gives you quick benefits such as automated business process and integrate them with long-term projects such as fraud detection. Consider factors such as obstacles during practical implementation, cost reduction, and utilizing open resources.
4. Be transparent by ensuring safety nets – It is important to develop trust in the AI data sharing and security features while planning a government-wide AI adoption. Here, government employees and the population at large need to understand that with proper security measures in place, data sharing is possible. To bring that credibility, open dialogue for the AI use cases in government is required.
A global survey by BCG on the citizens’ perspective on the use of AI in government showed that they were inclined with the AI implementation for critical decision-making processes, such as tax management, and maintenance of public infrastructure.
5. Grab the opportunity – If you have a well-designed AI model in place, your agency will be better prepared for the recovery that lies ahead. With the advancement of the pandemic, government professionals need to work together and engage with the citizens to support the use of AI and other technologies for empowerment.
Wrapping it up
In the future, it is important to note that AI can touch almost all areas of government, from customer service to automated chatbots to the helpdesk. The government agencies who can embrace this technology can get faster economic recovery, enhanced efficiency, happy workers and citizens, and much more!
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