The advent of AI has changed many industries. Its impact is such that even official bodies of many countries are taking notice. So, how AI can help the government? Well, from improving public services to enhancing security, AI does have the potential to transform the way governments operate.
As we speak, the government is already investing money in AIs. This has helped them in multiple ways. Business leaders support government projects that are AI-driven. Governments of Dubai and USCIS are known for using AI to function and communicate with the public.
Few government agencies are yet to reach digital maturity, however, they are slowly and steadily reaching there. An analysis by Deloitte has found that more than 1 billion hours of combined government official hours can be saved if AI is roped in to help them out.
Even if we consider the lower possibility then close to 1 billion hours can be saved and anywhere between 3 to 42 billion dollars of money can be saved as well. But that’s not it there are still more benefits that AI has to offer than just this and they are:
Analysis of Traffic
As per WHO over a million people die each year in road accidents. AI can help here by taking charge of the traffic flow analysis.
Using various available tools such as drones, computers, cameras, and more the government can identify areas that are more likely to have accidents and take extra safety measures to ensure these areas are made safer.
AI can also help control the traffic flow and prevent an area from becoming congested. Real-time street estimates of vehicle movement can be obtained and put to some use that may help avoid accidents or crowding on certain streets.
AI has already made some huge strides in the medical science field. Through AI we can track a patient’s health in real time. All important vitals can be received in an instant which can then help doctors take quick action.
Governments can also deploy AI to help with detection and controlling a pandemic just like it did with COVID-19. Today heart diseases can be detected in a matter of seconds through AI while MRI and diagnosis by a doctor would take 10 to 15 minutes or so.
AI can now also identify virus types and streamline poliovirus. So if the government uses AI in the medical field then maybe government hospitals could start competing with private hospitals again.
Indian Government created the world’s largest chatbot during the pandemic to fight against COVID-19. Haptik’s Whatsapp chatbot helped disseminate basic information about the disease to the general public in multiple languages.
Millions of users asked millions of questions and got answers to them through this chatbot. Apart from providing useful information the chatbot also helped bust useless myths that caused problems in such dire times.
Governments more often than not struggle to keep a watch on developing infrastructure. The manual process is not only challenging but also the results are not sufficient and so AI could step on and automate this process.
AIs are being used to identify ideal lands as well as undeclared pools, gazebos, patios, and other such structures. It’s not only helping insurance companies but also the government who are being made aware of tax evasions and unlawful property changes. This can help them enforce policies.
We all know just how much paperwork the government asks for and this in turn makes their task long and painful. However, this same paperwork also takes up most of their personnel and their hours.
If AI was brought in to automate this process and take care of the paperwork then not only does the work get done faster but it also frees up several of their employees.
Just as banks have chatbots to help out their customers with various queries and other issues, the government could use AI for the same thing as well.
Government officials interact with the general public daily and that takes up too much of their time. AI could step in to help here by assisting the people while the officials could focus on other important tasks.
Preventing Cyber Attacks
The government has nuclear codes, defense tactics, and all sorts of other information stored with it that hackers can attack. AI could be used to minimize the threat of hackers or possibly to even neutralize them.
They can detect any sort of intrusions, identify vulnerabilities in the system if any, and update the security as and when required.
Government technology is outdated and not up for the fight that today’s complex systems and hackers can inflict on them and so AI can help them deal with these issues.
Help with Policymaking
AI can help the government devise better policies that have the public at the center of it. Advanced data and analysis can be obtained from AI which would then help make a policy more efficient and effective.
Modifying policies would also become an easier and quicker process as AI systems would pick on changing trends and send feedback for the same.
AI can help nations come together and work for a similar cause. Be it strengthening their defenses or improving the kind of tech available AI can help in multiple ways.
And since every country is coming up with its AI system they can also learn from each other which helps strengthen the bond further.
India is adopting the digital movement and part of it includes storing important documents digitally. AI chatbot on Whatsapp helps Indian citizens to store documents like PAN cards, Aadhar cards, and others on Whatsapp Digilocker.
You could simply chat with the chatbot and it will take care of your documents thereby reducing the burden of carrying physical copies everywhere.
So now that we have seen how AI can help the government let’s also look at the contrasting side as well. AI is as much help as it is a problem and these are the risks and challenges posed by it:
Lack Of Expertise
AI is still a very new technology and so the resources required for high-quality machine learning are also rare. Government lacks the appropriate knowledge to build a useful AI model that will benefit the public and so there may still be some time before that can be figured out.
Government organizations have had a fixed structure for a long time which they are very much settled in. They don’t have something as crucial as R&D and so the motivation to get up and change the system is not something that may cross their mind.
Fairness and Equality
AI may not be a human but still, there is a risk of bias that the tech could be blamed for. Their system may misidentify a person or label the wrong person with the wrong credential thereby putting them in an odd spot.
The government may use AI but the system will be built by a third-party organization. So not just the government but also this other party may have access to your private data which is not something that most people would be up for.
Ethics and Accountability
AI models are known to have ethical issues and data biases and privacy only makes it worse. The data put in the system by a biased person will surely give the system the same biases and that would result in the system treating a sect or religion differently than others and it can’t even be held accountable for the same.
Source: US Department of State