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Public Sector - Emerging AI use cases

Our father-in-law graded over 100 examinations for his high school government class last Thanksgiving. Short answer questions matched U.S. Constitution clauses and explained the Bill of Rights. Grading was arduous and took hours during a holiday. We wondered whether there were speedier ways.

Automatic computer grading, which learns from prior replies and improves, is already utilised in some colleges and big online courses. (MOOCs). It may quickly score student papers and identify those with unique elements for human review. Teachers would have more time to organise classes, coach struggling pupils, read, or take vacations.

AI could help public school teachers grade papers faster. A.I could boost government efficiency, job satisfaction, and service quality. and make welfare payments, immigration judgments, fraud detection, infrastructure planning, citizen inquiries, jail hearings, health care triage, and drone paths.  We're deciding how AI will affect these and other government operations.

What will machines do? How should governments use AI-saved labour time?

Machine learning, in which a computer programme creates and iterates algorithms from data, is the most promising application of artificial intelligence. Machine learning algorithms can identify unexpected correlations in massive amounts of data from various sources. IBM's Watson, a treatment recommendation bot, may identify treatments that doctors didn't know about.

Machine learning programmes may be better, cheaper, faster, or more accurate than people in data-intensive, sophisticated computations, or repetitive jobs with clear rules. Public servants and employees of large companies may recognise that description. Government staff follow policies and procedures, creating several automation potential.

Machine learning programmes need not always outperform humans to be helpful. My research predicts that government machine learning application will be "low hanging fruit" for first-line analysis and decision-making. Interpreting data, managing difficult cases, and hearing appeals will require human judgement.

Some governments will reduce employees and return savings to taxpayers if public servants can perform faster. I wouldn't suggest it. Governments might improve service quality instead. They can redirect workers' time to more satisfying work that demands lateral thinking, empathy, and creativity—all of which humans surpass even the most advanced AI programme.

Determining unemployment benefits eligibility is crucial. Machine learning technologies may speed up judgements by providing unambiguous answers or highlighting which circumstances require human intervention. Sometimes a quick "yes" or "no" from the government is the best response. Sometimes the question is harder. Someone may want a longer chat with coaching, counsel, and encouragement after several months of unemployment. This is the best part of a public servant's job—thinking about a fresh problem and helping someone. However, forcing a human to perform like a robot, processing simple claims and suppressing empathy or inventiveness, makes government work dull and sad for citizens.

As a former government employee and full-time government consultant, I am familiar with the everyday nature of government employment. New public workers become cynics because complicated processes limit innovation. (and encourage them to leave government work). Public servants suffer, but government suffers more. OECD and Edelman studies show low and declining government trust. Empathy, inventiveness, and lateral thinking may aid government personnel. Humans are better at this kind of thinking (and feeling) than machines, and citizens often crave real connection, good sense, and understanding from their government.

AI programmes can speed up and personalise government services. Governments must decide how best technology can return time to citizens. At a time when many industries and employment may change swiftly, citizens may value lengthier conversations with more engaged public officials above cheaper government.

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