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The Near Future of AI: What Local Governance Will Look Like In 5 years

By Stephen Brandofino

Local government officials face a multitude of challenges in their roles. With the public looking to them to keep communities safe, healthy, and civically engaged, their jobs are not easy. Coupling that with the increasing roadblocks of things like limited resources, transparency for constituents, and making communities more sustainable, it may feel impossible to keep everyone satisfied. 

Thankfully, a new form of technology has arisen which can prove to be very advantageous to local government officials. The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in government operations can be the key to significantly simplifying and streamlining various administrative tasks and processes. Local governments should enlist the help of this state of the art technology to support them in better serving their communities.  

What Is AI? 

According to Investopedia, “Artificial intelligence, or AI, refers to the simulation of human intelligence by software-coded heuristics.” In more simple terms, AI is technology that enables machines to think, learn, and perform tasks in ways that mimic human intelligence. It involves creating computer programs or systems that can understand, reason, make decisions, and solve problems, similar to how people do. 

AI helps machines to process information, learn from it, and use that learning to achieve specific goals or tasks without being explicitly programmed for each step. There are numerous forms of Artificial Intelligence, all with more intricate processes than the last. Some areas where AI has been implemented include healthcare, finance, and customer service. Implementing artificial intelligence directly into your local government processes can be extremely beneficial. 

How Can AI Transform Governance?

Artificial Intelligence should be seen as a largely positive advancement for humanity as a whole. With its ability to be extremely efficient, solve complex problems, and manage many repetitive tasks, there are few better, more practical uses for AI than in local government. 

These are just a short list of the many ways that Artificial Intelligence can transform local governance. AI in local government can also be useful in areas such as budget management, regulatory compliance, and sustainability. The positive impacts AI can have on your municipal offices are plentiful, and the use of this tool should be considered by local government officials. 

Here are a list of a few ways that Artificial Intelligence can transform governance in your local municipality:

Current AI Capabilities To Utilize In Your Municipality Now

While Artificial Intelligence may still feel like a thing of the future, there are numerous capabilities for it that your municipality can utilize now. From helping with public services, to enhancing the cybersecurity of your community, the usefulness of this tool should not be understated. Here is an in depth description of the capabilities

Artificial Intelligence offers numerous advantages in improving your local public services:

Chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants can handle routine citizen queries and provide information about local services, events, and policies, which can enhance citizen engagement. AI-driven platforms can streamline service requests and enable citizens to access government services more conveniently. AI tools coupled with GovPilot’s many different permitting softwares, can allow for local citizens to quickly gain the licenses they need.  

  • Predictive Policing

The use of Artificial Intelligence algorithms can help analyze historical crime data and predict potential hotspots for crime within your municipality. This can help local law enforcement allocate resources to those areas more effectively and efficiently. 

  • Robotic Process Automation

Often referred to as RPA, Robotic Process Automation is the process of using robotic software technology to automate digital tasks and replace manual processes with digital best practices. This can help your local government in a multitude of ways, from saving government funds by reallocating them away from manpower and towards automated processes, as well as allow for tasks to be done with higher accuracy. 

  • Environmental Monitoring

Your local government should do its best to become more environmentally conscious, and artificial intelligence has the power to help. One useful aspect of AI for local governments is climate modeling. Local government officials can leverage artificial intelligence to model and predict climate changes. This can help to facilitate better environmental policies and planning, and give your local government a head start on disaster relief.

Learn more about how Local Governments Build Resilient Communities here.   

    • GovTip: Utilizing GIS mapping alongside the implementation of AI will give local government officials the best opportunity to protect their communities from the catastrophic impacts of a natural disaster. Learn more about GovPilot’s GIS Mapping Software here.  

You can also use AI to monitor many different environmental changes. From changes in air quality to water levels, AI can help protect your local environment. This technology can even be used to monitor and protect endangered species within your community through image and sound recognition technologies. 

Click here to learn more about Protecting Endangered Species at the Local Level

While talking about just how advanced we are as a society when it comes to technology, it is important to not understate the cybersecurity dangers that local governments face on a daily basis. Different attacks on your local data system through things like malware and phishing, leave your constituents susceptible to cyber crimes. You should look to employ Artificial Intelligence to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats in real time, which can help to enhance the overall security of government systems and data.  

With a move to using Artificial Intelligence in everyday governance, it is important to make sure that these systems maintain a certain level of ethics. It is important for local governments to ensure fairness, integrity, and accountability when engaging in various sectors of public service. Local governments should look to regularly audit and update Artificial Intelligence algorithms so that potential biases could be mitigated.    

Soon To Come AI Capabilities And How To Utilize Them

The capabilities and use of Artificial Intelligence are continually evolving. With just how advanced this technology is, it may be hard to believe that it is still in its infancy. There are a lot of places that AI still has the ability to go and it is important for local government officials to properly leverage these advancements. Here is a list of some of the possibilities for the future of Government AI:

1. Explainable AI

This form of Artificial Intelligence will allow for the computer system to explain the steps it took in its decision making process in a more understandable way. This is key for usage in local government, as it will aid in fortifying both transparency and trust amongst local government officials and constituents. 

Learn everything about Building Trust in Local Government and Keeping Your Constituents Happy

2. Advanced Computer Vision

Artificial intelligence systems will have the ability to recognize, understand, and interpret real life images and videos. Local government officials can look to use this technology when trying to mitigate damages from natural disasters, keeping their streets safe, or even for the benefit of public health through medical imaging.  

3. AI in Public Sector Healthcare

To add onto the previous point, the usefulness of Artificial Intelligence in the future of public health is very abundant. AI can lend itself to more accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations through advanced medical image analysis and patient data interpretation. AI can possibly even be capable of personalizing medicine choices with treatment plans based on collected health data.

Learn more about the importance of keeping this and other types of data safe here. 

4. Reinforcement Learning and Predictive Analysis

As Artificial Intelligence becomes more of a part of everyday life, it will become more and more adp tab;e and predictive of certain factors that may arise. Looking through the lens of a local government, this is extremely useful and beneficial. Local government officials can input things like budget restrictions and forecasts, as well as ever changing population data to allow for Government AI to be more prepared for the changing circumstances surrounding a municipality. With this useful tool, your local government will be more prepared than ever to face any obstacles.  

Local government officials should look to implement Artificial Intelligence into their locality. With the growing accessibility and usefulness of this powerful tool, getting a head start and gaining a deeper understanding of its impact will prove to be beneficial to your community. Book a consultation with GovPilot to learn more. 

Artificial Intelligence FAQs

  • What is AI?

AI or Artificial Intelligence, is a form of technology that allows for computer systems to think, learn, and act in a way that humans would. AI has the ability to process information, complete tasks, and solve problems through automation. 

  • How can my local government implement AI?

AI is extremely useful in many different avenues, but few can see its usefulness more than local governments. With its ability to solve complex problems and automate otherwise tedious processes, it has the capability to make everyday local government processes much easier and more efficient. 

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Tags: Government Efficiency, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, GovTech, Disaster Recovery