Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is growing increasingly diverse in its slew potential uses to improve government operations. For optimized use, AI necessitates as large volume of data––something the U.S. government possesses. Deloitte confirms the federal government plans to reach 500 million digitized records by 2024 with 235 million already scanned. There are already use cases illustrating AI government applications:
- For example, AI can enable healthcare services to employ chatbots which can provide services to non-life-threatening situations to free doctors to focus on emergency care. The AI would analyze medical test result data and history to provide backing for these chatbots’ assessments.
- AI-enabled traffic lights in Pittsburgh have already reduced travel times by 25 percent. As data collection and analysis grows, the applications of AI for transportation can only grow more efficient and useful.
- Bots can be used by caseworkers in human services to answer queries. Australia’s Department of Human Services has a chatbot already capable of answering ~85 percent of the questions posed by case officers. Similarly, the Netherlands has made use of machine learning to detect fraud and waste in social benefit programs.
- For the sake of domestic and national security, AI can be used as a preemptive tool to criminal or terrorist activity. Cities can use predictive analytics on the geography of emergency calls to better identify future crime reporting. The internet can also be scoured for signs of radicalization with natural-language-based solutions.
The primary goals for government in its use of AI should be to assist, augment, and automize large swaths of data it possesses. The goal isn’t to replace government employees with machines. The use of AI in the near future should focus on freeing up workers from mundane tasks to better focus on more pressing issues for constituencies. Deloitte denotes the power of AI to “multiply human productivity––” this is part of the foundation for conversations on how government should go about incorporating AI technology into its daily operations.
One striking data signal Deloitte covers is that of sheer number of hours that could be saved. Approximately 1.3 billion hours could be freed up by automation in the federal government alone. The benefits of implementing AI solutions for public use include economic development and radical increases in worker productivity. The government must also consider growing concerns of algorithm functions alongside the requisite funding and training that must roll out or risk-averse economic consequences.