Artificial Intelligence for Citizen Services and Government (Harvard Ash Center)

Originally published by the Harvard Ash Center


From online services like Netflix and Facebook, to chatbots on our phones and in our homes like Siri and Alexa, we are beginning to interact with artificial intelligence (AI) on a near daily basis. AI is the programming or training of a computer to do tasks typically reserved for human intelligence, whether it is recommending which movie to watch next or answering technical questions. Soon, AI will permeate the ways we interact with our government, too. From small cities in the US to countries like Japan, government agencies are looking to AI to improve citizen services. This paper explores the various types of AI applications, and current and future uses of AI in government delivery of citizen services, with a focus on citizen inquiries and information. It also offers strategies for governments as they consider implementing AI. Read my report here.

Also featured in:

As Artificial Intelligence grows in government, experts urge caution, Governing

AI needs to be implemented carefully, Federal News Radio

Feds look to AI solutions to solve problems from customer service to cyber defense, GovTechWorks

How AI can free humans from government’s most boring jobs, GovernmentCIO

Artificial Intelligence in Government, StormVentures

Six strategies to help governments start off on the right foot with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech (reposted from Data-Smart City Solutions)

Artificial intelligence: 6 steps government agencies can take, StateScoop

AI: Coming to a government office near you, Government Innovators Network

Study: Government should think carefully about those big plans for artificial intelligence, GovTech

Feds shouldn’t use AI just because it’s cool, Federal Times

Agencies should watch out for unethical AI, report warns, NextGov

AI strategies for improving citizen services, GCN

AI for citizen services and government: here’s an action plan, AI Trends


Why the Human Factor Matters for Technology and Development



In April, I was invited to speak on a panel for the Digital Technologies and Development event at Columbia SIPA. Below is an edited version of my remarks. 

Since this panel is on “making digital technologies work for people and businesses,” I want to briefly discuss why we need to keep the human factor in mind when we think about making digital technologies work for everyone. To do this, I’ll share three examples focused on human-centered design in technology and civic innovation. (more…)