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Artificial intelligence to bolster public services



AI Robot

Kathmandu, June 18:  From government agencies to private sectors and industries to innovations, artificial intelligence (AI) is a global fad today. Hefty amount is being poured in on AI research and development in the developed countries, while developing ones are also paying heed on how they could join the bandwagon.

After the spurt of AI, lately in the ultimate months of 2022, and gradual expansion by the tech giants since then, the governments, researchers and industries across the world are not only awe-struck but also worried if the AI goes beyond regulation. Similarly, improving governance with AI is equally a growing concern among the states.

Evidently, it is every government’s priority to improve public service, maintain efficiency in day to day works, increase productivity, augment oversight, and make implementable policy and action plans, where adoption of technology is central. And, it is AI to be leveraged with cautions and proper regulation.

In this regard, a paper released by the OECD has showcased how its member states are utilizing the modern technology- AI- in the government affairs to meet modern demands.

The paper- ‘Governing with artificial intelligence: Are governments ready’- mentions various dimensions of governance where AI can be leveraged and why trust in it is required to unlock further potential.

“OECD countries are increasingly investing in better understanding AI systems and using the opportunities they provide to transform the machinery of government. The responsible use of AI can improve the functioning of government administrations in several ways,” the document said, adding that AI increases productivity.

According to the paper, once the public sectors apply AI, it spurs productivity in government activities and help design relevant and inclusive public policies; AI enables oversight agencies, builds capacity and reinforces governmental accountability.

In an example how AI was used by different countries for public services, it brought the reference that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Labour and Welfare Administration of Norway had used a conversational AI which facilitated citizens to receive social benefits round the clock. It was able to sort out 80 percent of enquiries, thereby avoiding involvement of government employees.

“Transport Canada has piloted the use of a risk-assessment algorithm to assess and identify potentially high-risk cargo before it is loaded onto inbound aircraft,” the paper stated, adding that a custom-AI model called GiusBERTo has been applied in Court of Auditors in Italy. The facility “automatically de-identifies and anonymises court decisions without sacrificing any important information, a process previously done manually.”

The paper has also alerted over the downsides lumped together with the use of AI, thereby warranting ethical and responsible development of AI. #rss


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