All over the world, there is increasing pressure on public servants to become more efficient at what they do and how they do their jobs. Increasing employee and volunteer headcount may seem like a valid solution to undertake, but this can prove to be too cost-prohibitive, especially with developing countries struggling economically.
It’s here that technology, specifically applications of artificial intelligence, may be able to help. Using AI-powered solutions in order to make work processes more efficient is one of the current trends taking the business world and the public sector by storm today, with enterprises and state agencies of all sizes benefiting massively from it.
As many public sector agencies often operate in the same way as businesses, there are clear benefits to AI solution integration that governments can take advantage of, especially with regard to making their public services more efficient.
Artificial intelligence solutions can help public servants attend to citizens’ needs for longer and with greater efficiency
When any organization or business integrates artificial intelligence solutions into their operations, they are able to help their employees in performing tedious and repetitive tasks that would normally take up a lot of time and resources when done manually. In this, the public service industry is no exception.
By installing AI-powered online digital assistants or self-service kiosks in their workplaces, public service organizations can attend to a higher quantity of their constituents without having to increase their volunteer or employee count. This will also mean that their constituents will be served more efficiently, as these artificial intelligence solutions will have the computational power necessary to perform time-consuming tasks and answer service-specific questions almost instantaneously, without having to take breaks or sick leaves in between.
Finally, with its inherent machine learning capabilities, a properly-integrated artificial intelligence solution can also learn patterns of behavior from the customers it’s serving, which can result in an even more efficient and personalized service.
Artificial intelligence solutions can help public servants become more adept and adaptable
Unlike typical businesses and organizations, public services tend to be more complex and constantly changing. From government administration turnovers and frequent restructuring due to mergers, re-branding and outright changing of their main objectives, public services often struggle to adapt and keep up. This causes not only repeated mistakes and needless work duplication in a public service organization, but also a drastic increase in inefficiency when it comes to serving its customers or constituents.
AI solutions can easily assist public service organizations in this regard. For example, due to its inherently programmable nature, a currently integrated AI solution can easily be modified and changed so that it can perform whatever purpose that could benefit the newly transformed public service process. This makes any transition much smoother and easier for the organization, eschewing the need to extensively re-train employees or volunteers for their new roles.
Furthermore, artificial intelligence solutions can also be used to help public servants with their major projects. By scouring through databases and relevant information sources faster than human employees, the data needed for these projects can be supplied much more adeptly.
Artificial intelligence solutions can help public servants keep their records up to date as well as make their services easier to access by constituents
Public services often require their constituents to re-enter and confirm their personal information at regular intervals. This is to ensure that the information they’re working with in their dispensation of the services they provide is as updated and accurate as possible. Obviously, this can take a lot of time, manpower, and resources to carry out in a manual fashion, from the data-gathering stage up to the data itself being entered into the public service’s database.
AI solutions that take advantage of data integration and replication tools can streamline this process by automating the steps that involve heavily repetitive actions, such as data entry as well as checking for incomplete or erroneous records. Having an AI solution oversee these steps can also help minimize faults usually caused by instances of human error. Moreover, by using such an automated solution, public service agencies can keep their databases updated across all of their divisions or branches with ease and efficiency.
Besides this, automated digital assistants can help citizens and employees navigate complicated government bureaucracies and processes in natural language, as well as in the comfort of their own home (i.e. through the internet) if needed. This allows for a greater reach and a greater ease of use of the public services being provided by the organization, which in turn also results in increased efficiency.
Artificial intelligence solutions can help identify instances of Fraud
Public services have to deal with fraud, just like banks and other financial institutions do. This should come as no surprise as public services have to deal with quite a lot of money in their day-to-day operations, from government funding and financial assistance grants to large transactions with private companies for materials or other services. With government and tax money from constituents on the line, public services organizations cannot risk fraud, and thus must protect themselves with stringent anti-fraud measures.
Artificial intelligence can help with fraud identification and prevention, and in a much more thorough and adept way that traditional checks for fraud can. Through machine learning, AI solutions can be programmed and taught to spot patterns of fraudulent behavior within and without the public services organization. They can then alert investigators to this detected behavior and in so doing help prevent fraud before it can happen.
Efficient and adequate public services is crucial in keeping a nation’s population healthy, satisfied and productive. While the traditional solution to inefficiency has always been to take on more manpower in order to share the work, it usually ends up too much of an expense for the public service provider or organization to bear, especially when it comes to developing countries.
Thankfully, artificial intelligence is the more affordable alternative solution to hiring more employees. Not only can its judicious application streamline or even automate time-consuming tasks, but it can also help the constituents access the public services easier and more conveniently. As such, public service organizations would do well to look into integrating artificial intelligence in their work processes.