AI Implementation in Public Services

Five international success stories demonstrate how AI can improve public sector services for customers

Igor Lys, Founder and CEO

June 3, 2024

3 Min Read
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The Government Tomorrow Forum, an international project founded by French government advisory company Gambit, recently surveyed 120 AI experts and conducted 15 interviews to find out the challenges for AI implementation in the public sphere. These five scalable AI use cases were most frequently mentioned by the participants.

Estonia: “Kratts”

Estonia has been experimenting with AI for several years, with around 60 Estonian public authorities having implemented projects with AI components (kratts).  

The first automated border control gates, or ABC gates, started operating at Tallinn Airport and the Narva Road border crossing point in 2021. The identification algorithms minimize the risk of people crossing the border with fake documents with the average time required to pass through the gates and cross the border being 15 seconds.

Another project underway is Bürokratt, which aims to provide one chatbot for all public services.

Canada: Automating Housing Permit Queries

The city of Kelowna had an issue with a housing shortage and receiving housing permissions, with developers having to wait for up to six months. Two chatbots were implemented: one that answers permitting questions and a second that guides applicants through the process. A small project was transformed into a solution to the big city problem.

Related:Self-Driving AI Traffic Tech Secures Florida Approval, Earns U.S. Patent

Denmark: Helping Thyroid Cancer Patients

Another case study is 2021.AI project for Rigshospitalet, one of the largest hospitals in Copenhagen, Denmark, that serves 75,000 inpatients each year. The project aimed to improve the treatment for patients, without using patients’ personal information.

The LLM-based virtual assistant was introduced to support patients by answering pre-qualified questions and providing information beyond regular hospital opening hours. This example demonstrates how generative AI can make a difference without facing challenges with personal data and security.

U.S.: Reduction of Travel Time in Pittsburgh

Surprisingly, some successful cases were implemented even before LLMs and ChatGPT. An interesting initiative aimed at optimizing public traffic flow was launched back in 2012 in Pittsburgh.

Using real-time traffic data and leveraging AI to dynamically adjust signal timings, AI helped to reduce travel time by 25%, traffic stops by 30%, wait times by 40% and overall emissions by 21%. The pilot's success led to an expanded implementation, showcasing the scalable impact of AI in enhancing city infrastructure.

UAE: "Once and for All"

The UAE is rapidly deploying AI in public services. The country’s U-Ask chatbot helps to transform the communication between government and citizens’ using generative AI. On a regional level, Falcon, the first UAE-born LLM, will be soon integrated into TAMM, Abu Dhabi’s government services platform.

Related:AI is Booming in the Middle East

The UAE focuses on enabling AI in daily operations under the "once and for all" policy. Citizens will be required to present information to the government only once, so it can be used in all public institutions without a second request.

How Can Governments Embrace AI?

Although these examples were implemented in different countries at different times, they help unleash some common “structurally courageous” principles for governments

Being structurally courageous means having four crucial principles - putting people first, understanding global and technology trends, implementing and maintaining a modern workplace culture, and building resilience.

The government, no matter whether national, regional, or municipal, has to be structurally courageous to bring to life ambitions and scalable projects. 

About the Author(s)

Igor Lys

Founder and CEO, Gambit, Government Tomorrow Forum

Igor Lys is the founder and CEO of French government consultancy Gambit and the secretary general of Government Tomorrow Forum (GTF) 

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