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Turing Institute highlights potential for AI automation in government transactions


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Jittamas

AI could help automate around 84% of repetitive transactions across 200 government services, according to a new study from The Alan Turing Institute.

Its researchers focused on 201 services that involve a decision and an exchange of information between government and a citizen, such as registering to vote or applying for a national insurance number. These are the ones that consume the most effort and have the highest potential for time saving if they can be automated.

They estimated that these services were made up of around 143 million complex but repetitive transactions, giving them a high potential for automation by AI. And they believe that 84% of these transactions could be easily automated.

This shows the huge potential of AI to enhance productivity if the opportunity is fully realised, the institute said.

Modelling volumes

The study also presents a model to estimate the volume of transactions a government service undertakes, providing a way for government to avoid conducting time consuming transaction volume measurements.

In addition, it finds that there is high turnover in the types of services government provide, meaning that automation efforts should focus on general procedures rather than services themselves, which are likely to evolve over time. 

Dr Jonathan Bright, head of AI for public services and online safety at The Alan Turing Institute, said: “AI has enormous potential to help governments become more responsive, efficient and fair. Even if AI could save one minute per transaction, that would be the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of hours of labour saved each year.

“Achieving responsible and accurate automation with AI will require a lot of work, however the huge benefit justifies the investment needed.”


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