According to a study by Accenture, public-service executives in Europe are positive and enthusiastic about the impact of AI on government operations and services. But the study also says that they face challenges implementing the technology.
The study came out as a result of a survey conducted among 300 government leaders and senior IT decision-makers in Finland, France Germany, Norway and the UK. The study found that the majority (90%) of respondents believe that AI will create a great impact on their organizations in coming years. Around 86 percent of respondents said that their organization plans to increase its spending on AI by 2020.
Nearly 25 percent of respondents cited that customer service is the major operational area favoured by most for public service AI deployments while 23 percent believe the same for fraud and risk management.
In most of the responses, it was found that increasing efficiencies, reducing cost and time and enhancing productivity are the greatest anticipated benefits from their AI investments.
Apart from all the benefits and optimistic enthusiasm for AI, government respondents quoted the following systemic challenges they are facing in delivering successful AI projects:
• 71 percent faced difficulty in procuring the right AI building blocks.
• 84 percent of them experienced challenges in adapting AI logic and reasoning to their industry context.
• 81 percent of respondents affirmed that there exist challenges in integrating AI technologies into their back-office operations.
• Also, 42 percent are occupied with security-related concerns around the use of AI.
• Nearly, 31 percent asserted that they lacked the necessary talent and skills to scale their AI investments.
Bernard Le Masson, who leads Accenture’s Consulting practice for its Health & Public Service clients said, “AI is unlike any recent waves of technology change, it is truly transformational. That means it is complex to deploy and requires having solid foundations in place to ensure proper data strategy, governance, and delivery success. As AI spending accelerates and delivery expectations increase, governments must address the systemic challenges and build the necessary foundations that are underpinned by the trust to maximize the technology’s potential and ensure its successful deployment. Only with a new operating model that takes an organization-wide approach to deployments, undertaken in collaboration with an entire ecosystem of stakeholders can the full potential of AI deployments be achieved.”
How Much They are Investing?
• Around 40 percent of respondents said that they invest between US$ 5 million and US$ 15 million annually.
• Nearly, 63 percent reported their annual investment from US$5 to US$10 million.
Further, the Accenture report found disparities in leaders’ approaches in investing in AI across different countries and sectors.
• Around 20 percent of UK public service respondents said their organization is investing more than US$50 million in AI annually whereas 47 percent said their organization is investing between US$15 million and US$50 million in AI. However, these are the highest figures among the five countries surveyed.
• In Norway, 22 percent said that they’re investing between US$15 million and US$50 million annually.
• For defense sector, around 27 percent were optimistic about the AI’s impact while 26 percent were most positive about its impact in revenue sectors.
Respondents from the healthcare and social services sector are most positive about their ability to scale at least 10 AI use cases in the coming year while in the education industry respondents were less confident in their organization’s ability to achieve more than 10 AI deployments.