FRAMEWORK : Government Services

How a Human/AI Data Partnership Can Help Citizen Experience

What does a partnership with AI look like—and can it help government better serve the people?

The Washington Post’s WP Brand Studio tackles this question in “Future –proof: How today’s artificial intelligence solutions are taking government services to the next frontier.” 

Different from the “will robots take our jobs” angle, the article begins to explore how “working side-by-side, the human/AI partnership can handle the challenges of our increasingly data-driven economy while enabling innovation that enhances and broadens current mission capabilities.”

Specifically, “when agencies successfully apply AI models to their data procedures, they can improve productivity, reduce risk, serve citizens better and free up employees to work on more creative and complex jobs.”

In the example of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we see that the agency has investigated the use of machine learning and natural language processing “to become more efficient in processing incoming comments from the public about its regulations.” The study found a potential savings of “up to 300,000 employee hours and millions of dollars annually.”

These savings demonstrate how a “partner, a smart, fast and indefatigable helper” could shoulder the everyday load federal employees face.

Yet, the article only hints at how government employees can use AI to help “make decisions more efficiently and effectively.”

How is AI “less of a tool and more of a partner”?

Returning to the Health and Human Services example: Processing public comments about regulations is the “low hanging fruit” in the human/AI partnership. The real opportunity in the human/AI partnership is continuously building capabilities, with the use of AI tools, to understand and respond to incoming comments from the public.

Digitization of the various data types that comprise the public’s comments is critical to utilizing machine learning applications. Algorithms—based on text, voice and image analytics and integrated with operational data—provide deeper insights within the public’s comments, and subsequently, define opportunities for process and policy improvements.

Capturing and sequencing this data over time will enable both “learning” and journey analytics which will drive government agencies to improve their citizen experiences.

Our human/AI partnership empowers the public to more easily understand and navigate the system of regulations and enables the government workforce to be more creative in fulfilling its mission of serving the public.