AI government tools now active in the UK
United Kingdom government officials use artificial intelligence (AI) and complex algorithms for important decisions. The Guardian says they use AI to decide who receives benefits and gains marriage license approvals. Artificial intelligence could make government services more efficient than ever. However, more people worry AI could lead to unintended consequences.
Governments must follow digitalization as gadgets and the Internet become more important parts of our lives. However, they must adapt carefully, understanding tools before using them for key decisions. Otherwise, a poorly implemented system could ruin millions of lives. More importantly, everyone should know these applications to mitigate their potential risks.
This article will discuss how governments are using artificial intelligence. I will begin with the United Kingdom and then cover other countries.
How does the UK government use AI?
The Guardian investigated and discovered civil servants in eight Whitehall departments and police forces use AI. Whitehall is another term for the UK government.
They use artificial intelligence for decisions regarding immigration, criminal justice, and welfare. Moreover, the news website allegedly has evidence that some AI government tools can produce discriminatory results:
- The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) uses an algorithm that a Member of Parliament (MP) believes has led to dozens having their benefits revoked.
- Also, the Metropolitan police have been using a facial recognition tool that makes more mistakes when detecting black faces than white ones.
- The Home Office says it plays “a fundamental role in the security and economic prosperity of the UK.” However, The Guardian said it may flag fake marriages and select people from specific nationalities.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently declared the positive, transformative impact of AI. He said it could enhance public services, “from saving teachers hundreds of hours of time spent lesson planning to helping NHS patients get quicker diagnoses and more accurate tests.”
Shameem Ahmad, the chief executive of the Public Law Project, shares the same sentiment. “AI comes with tremendous potential for social good. For instance, we can make things more efficient,” he said.
However, the exec warned of its serious risks. “We cannot ignore the serious risks. Without urgent action, we could sleep-walk into a situation where opaque automated systems are regularly, possibly unlawfully, used in life-altering ways, and where people will not be able to seek redress when those processes go wrong.”
Marion Oswald, a former member of the government’s advisory board on data ethics, pointed out another issue with AI government systems. “There is a lack of consistency and transparency in the way that AI is being used in the public sector,” she stated.
How are other governments using AI?
More countries have AI government services, such as the United Arab Emirates. Its Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) uses this technology to recommend business names.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can open the UAE website’s “Name Ideas” section for appropriate website domain names for startups. They can provide a “description of the commercial activity for which they want to find a local domain name.”
The artificial intelligence analyzes the information and suggests domain names according to availability and suitability with English and Arabic translations. Also, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced it would use ChatGPT to enhance its services.
DEWA will provide “integrated and advanced services that enhance productivity and meet current and future needs.” Moreover, Singapore is developing an AI chatbot for summarizing long reference material and improving writing clarity for government officials.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his country will use artificial intelligence to drive economic growth. That is why it was preparing a “siloed” version of ChatGPT for government ministries and corporations.
It will prepare questions for Diet sessions and record minutes of meetings. More importantly, it is “siloed,” meaning it will have a separate data center to prevent cyber attacks.
The United Kingdom is using AI programs to make important government decisions. Most experts support mass AI adoption but warn institutions must have proper safeguards against potential risks.
That is why some countries are taking a slower approach to AI implementation. For example, the Philippine government has proposed an AI bill for tech regulations but hasn’t adopted tools for important tasks.
In response, citizens must understand how these tools work to see their potential impacts. Learn more about the latest digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.