Deloitte BrandVoice: AI And The Future Of Government


People’s expectations for accessible and efficient technologies are deepening across different fields, including government services. And to meet those expectations governments should explore new service and interaction models that are both modern and integrated.

Increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are being floated as a key enabler for these models. With its capacity to improve decision-making, efficiency, and policy design, AI holds enormous potential to help governments deliver their mission. But as governments move online, they should ensure that those new digital services are human-centered, trustworthy, transparent, ethical and accountable.

AI in government

AI is fueled by the unparalleled computing power available nowadays. Easily deployable solutions drawing on the cloud have democratized access to this computing power. And with the explosion of digital data that feeds AI models and makes AI applications thrive, there are a range of AI uses that can help governments function, including:

  • Better digital interactions with public services: Citizens are accustomed to end-to-end digital self-service delivery models in the private sector—such as instant credit card approvals and online applications—and they expect the same with the public sector. The advent of Generative AI—which generates content such as text or images rather than simply analyzing data—can be a game changer in digital interactions, ensuring greater coverage of services as well as customization. But governments should be mindful that not everyone interacts via digital and offer omnichannel options that ensure access to all.
  • Simplified and more efficient processes: Governments are reimagining traditional processes and ways of thinking. AI-based process improvements are now cutting across internal government processes, managing everything from information, people, and finance to security and access. By delivering services more efficiently, governments can provide public servants with additional capacity to engage constituents further and address a more complex, value-add workload.
  • Data-based policymaking: Increased use of AI and data analytics is helping policymakers across all government sectors develop more thoughtful policies with more accurate insights about impacts and cost. Data-driven policymaking can enable more effective regulation of industries, a greater understanding of social and environmental outcomes of policy, and better insights into how citizens perceive policy and where it may be falling short.

The fact that the use of AI-based technologies is soaring within the private sector can only help governments as they work to integrate AI into their processes. According to the Deloitte US Global State of AI in the Enterprise 2022, 79% of surveyed leaders (of a cohort of 2,620 respondents across sectors) have deployed AI applications. This means an AI ecosystem is already operating and governments have a range of available solutions to choose from. It also means there are several people with AI capabilities that can create innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of the public sector.

But as the presence of AI in the public sector grows, so should transparency. For citizens worried about AI in their governments, public institutions should develop mechanisms that ensure clarity on the responsible use of AI.

Laying to groundwork to a human-centered transformation

Governments now have an unprecedented opportunity to transform public services using AI technologies. AI’s applications can help them streamline life event experiences—such as births or deaths—by integrating resources and anticipating people’s needs. But to capitalize on AI and ensure that it’s human-centered, governments should consider the following actions that can effectively enable an AI-powered transformation that is trustworthy, transparent, ethical and accountable:

  • Enhancing data-sharing capabilities: Government agencies should collaborate to break down data silos and facilitate collaboration across public and private sectors securely and transparently.
  • Scaling AI literacy and upskilling: Public servants should be trained and equipped with the necessary skills to work with AI and understand its impact on government policies and decision-making.
  • Augmenting data governance practices: Data governance practices should include the responsible use of AI, ensuring that data is collected and used in a transparent, fair, and ethical manner while protecting citizens’ privacy.
  • Creating a dynamic regulatory framework: With technologies like AI rapidly outpacing regulation, governments should raise awareness about the implications of these technologies and work with private sector ecosystems to develop informed regulation.

The future of government

When it comes to AI—and other emerging technologies—the human and technological sides should aim to work together to define purpose and have impact, without canceling each other out. But reservations about AI—whether from a risk or capabilities viewpoint—shouldn’t hold the public sector back.

With so much to be gained from technological advances, now is the right moment to build the next generation of government. Paired with human ingenuity, AI and other emerging digital technologies have the potential to help solve some of citizen’s and society’s most complex problems.

And when supported by the right foundation and governance, AI can get ahead of government challenges, using technology to fix their source rather than their symptoms.

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