AI Can Have a Major Impact in Government Agencies

By Juan Martinez, Senior Writer
September 24, 2018 • 2 minute read

AI isn’t just for the private sector. Government agencies can employ AI to handle a wide variety of tasks and services. IPsoft has a vision for the role of AI in government. Read this article to learn more.

Automating tasks that computers already routinely do could free up 96.7 million federal government working hours annually, potentially saving $3.3 billion, according to a recent report by Deloitte. The study also predicts that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can free up as many as 1.2 billion working hours every year, saving $41.1 billion. Meanwhile, countries around the world are fueling AI investments, The British government is investing £17.3m to fund research into robotics and AI in UK universities, and the Chinese government plans to build an AI industry worth more than $150 billion. Japan, which has long been an innovator in robots, employs 303 robots for every 10,000 human employees—fourth worldwide behind Germany (309), Singapore (488), and South Korea, which has an astonishing 631 robots per 10,000 employees.

With these initiatives in mind, it’s important to examine the role AI can play in helping governments accomplish tasks designed to improve speed, accuracy, and user experience. Anyone who has ever stood in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or tried to register to vote, can attest to the frustrating experience provided by some government agencies. AI can transform government processes and help citizens become more active and engaged.

Claims Management and Payments for Government Employees

For one government agency, Amelia served as a healthcare claims submission concierge. By speaking directly to Amelia, users were able to navigate lengthy and complex forms that classified them for specific medical claims. Typically, preparation for answering questions on these forms takes upwards of 40 hours. However, with Amelia guiding them through the process, users were able to complete the questionnaire in a fraction of that time.

AI can transform government processes and help citizens become more active and engaged.

Because Amelia is a secure means of communication for government employees, and the general population, she can serve as a data collector and a processor of information. Instead of users speaking directly to human agents to fill out an application, and then waiting weeks for a response, Amelia can handle data entry and perform transactions within the context of a direct conversation or interaction. It’s highly unlikely that, in the near future, people will apply for jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency through Amelia, but less critical tasks, such as applying for hunting and fishing licenses, or paying government-backed student loans, could be possible within the next year.

The US’s Role in Global AI

During IPsoft’s Digital Workforce Summit 2018, Deborah L. Wince-Smith, CEO of the US Council on Competitiveness, expressed concern with how competitive the US would be with countries such as China when it comes to AI advancements. “Our country right now is operating in a very low productivity environment,” she said. “The United States still spends two-thirds of global R&D [research and development]. From the federal government side, we have a massive investment, however, we are now faced with global competitors that are amassing resources and partners and capabilities on a scale that we’ve never seen before.”

She said the US Council on Competitiveness is meeting with Chief Technology Officers across all sectors to urge them to double down on R&D in order to ensure that the US maintains its leadership in AI and computing.

By reimagining how government agencies and processes can be run via AI, the US government can put itself in an advantageous position to gain firsthand knowledge of AI’s potential impact. Armed with these experiences, the US government can then serve as an evangelist of AI-based technologies, which would put the US, and its innovation allies, in a prime position to improve government and public sector operations worldwide.

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