Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector
ABOUT AI IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Governments use AI to design better policies, make better decisions, enhance relationships with citizens, and improve the quality of services. While potential benefits are significant, attaining them is not an easy task, and there are many risks and limitations that must be considered.
Why AI matters in the public sector
AI holds great promise for the public sector, and governments are in a unique position in relation to AI. They are capable of setting national priorities, investments and regulations for AI, and can also use it to redefine the ways in which the public sector creates policies and services. Hype around emerging technologies often overstates or obscures practical applications. An understanding of AI is therefore critical for helping policy makers and civil servants determine whether it can help them achieve their missions.
Our work on AI in the public sector
OPSI and its sister team, the Digital Government and Data Unit, have developed significant expertise in AI in the public sector. The core results of this work can be found in four reports:
- Hello, World: Artificial Intelligence and its Use in the Public Sector. Covered technical aspects of AI for public servants, analyzed public sector AI strategies, uncovered key use cases, and provided guidance on important considerations for the public sector
- State of the Art in the Use of Emerging Technologies in the Public Sector. Highlighted the main opportunities and challenges surrounding the use of AI and other emerging technologies in government, and offered insights into strategies as well as practical examples.
- The Strategic and Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector of LAC. Draws on the lessons and knowledge gained from the OECD’s broader work in AI and, for the first time, delves into the landscape, use cases, challenges and considerations for AI in the public sector in a specific region.
- Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2023. Surfaced key innovation trends and case studies, including acceleration in governments putting in place “algorithmic accountability”.
Part of a bigger picture
Our work feeds into broader OECD efforts on Artificial Intelligence, a strategic and cross-cutting area of focus.
An important milestone was the adoption of the OECD AI Principles in 2019. This pioneering set of intergovernmental standards on AI stresses the importance of ensuring that AI systems embody human-centred values, such as fairness, transparency, explainability and accountability, among others. The OECD.AI Policy Observatory serves as the orgaisational lead in advancing OECD’s AI-related efforts, including the adoption of the OECD AI Principles.