Artificial Intelligence has the potential to overcome the biggest challenges governments face and also dramatically improve life for citizens.
Around the world, companies are using artificial intelligence to automate mundane tasks, make better decisions and improve the customer experience. Governments also recognize the potential of these technologies to transform the way they organize themselves and run their processes.
Public sector organizations can lean on AI to enhance their online experiences, provide residents with better access to information, measure the effectiveness of new policies, and do just about everything else a city needs to thrive.
Robots are not going to substitute humans anytime soon. That’s how the entertainment world perceives the technological revolution of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) which occurs only in movies, for now. Not even experts can compare human-level intellect or reasoning skills to robots.
Common examples of AI are chatbots, while we think it’s the person out there replying to us, it’s okay. Chatbots only know how to respond to specific cues programmed into the databases. Nowadays, AI technology can learn from past experiences, analyze patterns, and assist human workers through methods thought to be science fiction just a few years ago. Finally, the age of AI-assisted governments is here!
The following ways AI helps governments transform their work and overcome social difficulties:
- Enhances consumer co-operation:
Even the smallest organizations are tasked with providing high-quality user experiences and support for their citizens. This means that anyone who is part of a team charged with delivering positive government and consumer experiences should be recognized as a customer service professional.
These roles can span from direct customer service, like manning a contact center, to second- or third-removed, such as the developer who writes lines of code intending to allow people to access real-time information.
To easily connect with customers, who are often multi-device (mobile, website, social media, newsletter, in-person) consumers of information, cities are beginning to see the benefits of accurate, quick-to-respond AI. Public bodies that innovate and put citizens’ needs at the center of their service design will ultimately maximize engagement with services that drive revenue.
- Listens to the pulse of the city
In the past, local governments struggled to know what their constituents wanted. They relied on slow polls and phone complaints to identify pressing issues, and citizens had to wait days or weeks for a response.
AI changes that dynamic by tapping into social media to learn about problems in real-time. When people post or tweet about prospective emergencies, new tools can identify the threat and alert responders before the situation gets out of hand. In less pressing situations, AI can collect feedback on projects and government interactions to gauge sentiment on city activity.
Using dynamic dashboards, city leaders can evaluate collected data in one place to make better decisions. AI eliminates the guesswork and empowers governments to listen to their citizens, communicate effectively, and provide more relevant services.
- Evens the playing field
Citizens judge and critics their municipalities for everything. If the city website is slow or difficult to navigate, they wonder why the city doesn’t just emulate the sites of their favorite consumer brands. If the city’s customer service agents aren’t helpful, citizens wonder why they can’t equal the level of support common at private companies.
Using AI, cities can catch up to the big brands on the market and provide citizens with high-quality experiences they expect. Customer service AI can help citizens find the information they need. Website AI can help citizens navigate online services. Some AI can even help citizens with applications, guiding them through the process and suggesting additional services.
- Empowers predictive predicaments:
Have you imagined knowing the traffic congestion, travel patterns and weather alerts to dangerous situations before accidents occurred?
That future is here. Predictive components in AI help cities interpret infrastructure issues and correct minor difficulties before they spread. Automated systems can trace water pressure and alert workers to fix pipes before they burst. For nearly every emergency cities face, AI offers a way to solve the problem before it ever becomes a problem.
- Life made easier
AI empowers decision-makers to see whether their policies are working as intended. Are the roads being fixed on time? Are inspections catching potential problems before they happen? Are city workers following up on projects? Using AI, city leaders can answer these questions and close the gaps to ensure their governments operate as efficiently as possible.
For citizens who are hard to reach — including those with vision, hearing, or movement impairments — AI makes life a bit easier. New tools can help citizens navigate city websites and receive more personalized notifications. Computer vision can even help cities analyze body cam and security evidence to help both city employees and the citizens who encounter them feel safe and respected.
Artificial intelligence has already begun to change the world, and local governments don’t have to sit on the sidelines while private companies enjoy all the benefits. Cities and other government institutions should look to AI today to expand their capabilities and prepare their organizations for what comes next.