Revolutionising Local Government: The Power of AI in Government

human and robot hand about to touch with ai in government building in the middle

How can AI for Government revolutionise Local Authorities

Imagine a world where Local Authorities are not just about long queues and endless paperwork. Thanks to AI, many local government entities are on the brink of making this a reality— revolutionising the mundane into the extraordinary!

A recent report survey conducted by the National Audit Office found that while AI is not currently being widely used in local governments in the UK, 70% are piloting various AI programs with the intention of expanding its use.

As a digital marketing consultancy firm that specialises in AI solutions for government, we understand the challenges that Local Authorities in the UK Government sector face. These challenges include limited resources, staff shortages and increasing demands for services. Implementing artificial intelligence in government internal processes can provide numerous benefits, including improving efficiency, enhancing resident engagement, and reducing costs—each of which I encourage you to explore with me in this article.

What Problems are Local Government Institutions Facing?

Local Authorities are responsible for managing a wide range of public services. From overburdened schools where teachers struggle to meet the needs of every child, to social care systems stretched thin caring for an aging population, the pressure is on.

Local governments are tasked with the Herculean effort of maintaining service quality with fewer hands on deck. Identifying the most critical issues often requires a maze of data analysis, leaving many councils playing catch-up rather than planning forward.

Too Many Leaks to Fix

Imagine being at the helm of a ship where every time you patch a leak, two more spring up! That’s the daily reality for Local Authorities. Managing such a variety of services means not only juggling ping-pong balls but sometimes entire circuses. With populations growing and budgets shrinking, the squeeze on resources can feel like trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle.

The complex and interconnected nature of many public services can make it difficult to identify areas for improvement. Where do you start?

“Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.”

Arthur C. Clarke, British author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, once said, “Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.” For many in local government, AI marketing still feels like magic, and you’re unsure if you know how to wield it.

That’s why I created this introduction to practical uses for AI in government. You could feel like an AI wizard, less like a bureaucrat. You can command the power of efficiency like a magic wand, zapping through administrative challenges and bringing a spark of digital wizardry to public services.

Why Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Is the Solution

There are many applications now available since the launch of ChatGPT 4 that drastically streamline an organisation’s internal processes, aiding in translation services, amongst many other things. AI for Government can help Local Authorities not just keep up but stay ahead, transforming ‘good enough’ into ‘great’ across their service spectrum. AI for Government can help Local Authorities overcome these challenges and improve not only their internal processes but the services they provide their residents.

However, many local authorities are nervous about proceeding with an AI strategy due to its infancy.  It’s understandable that you might want to wait for others to work out the kinks in government AI implementation before you make your move.

Despite the trepidation, the push from the Local Government Association through a brief from the LGA set by the national Government is nudging the hesitant towards the inevitable AI integration.

What’s more, you’ll find many reasons not to wait for others to test the waters. Here are some of the key benefits of using AI in Local Authorities that you could miss out on.

AI Can Streamline Your Internal Processes

Using chatbots in local government, AI can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, processing and completed task hand-offs, allowing staff to focus on more complex activities. Imagine having AI book staff holiday with one simple command or immediately inform staff of any HR related query without having to read through an employee handbook. Incorporating AI into your workflows is like having a super-efficient office assistant who doesn’t require a tea break.

AI can also identify patterns in internal data and provide insights that inform decision-making, streamlining internal processes and improving efficiency.

Enhancing Resident Engagement with AI

The technological leap that AI has become translates to smiles on residents’ faces, as they receive the help they need almost instantaneously without long phone queues or slow to non-existent email responses.

AI can improve resident engagement by providing faster, more personalised responses to inquiries and requests. Chatbots can handle simple queries and direct residents to the appropriate resources, freeing up staff to focus on more complex requests. This can lead to increased satisfaction and trust in Local Authorities.

AI for Government Will Forever Change Translation Services

AI-powered translation services can provide fast and accurate translations, reducing the time and resources required for manual translation and avoiding potential miscommunications.

AI can become your multilingual digital mediator, instantly breaking down language barriers one sentence at a time.

This can help Local Authorities ensure that all residents have access to important information and services. AI-powered translation services can provide fast and accurate translations, reducing the time and resources required for manual translation.

Has your team been tasked with creating an important service announcement for your local area where many languages are spoken? Imagine translating a resident communication from English into Urdu, Irish, Welsh, Punjabi, and Bengali instantly with one command. How many days and back-and-forth emails with translators could that save you? AI can help you do this.

Now, you may be thinking, “Couldn’t they use Google Translate” or similar? What’s the difference?

The difference can be measured in light years. Artificial Intelligence translation goes beyond the typical pocket translator because it:

  • Translates using context: AI is more like a highly fluent human translator in this regard. Words often have multiple meanings in languages and even “secret” innuendos that could lead to scandal. Some languages are genderless, like Mandarin, while some rely heavily on gender, like Spanish. AI can parse out these subtleties to deliver more competent translations.
  • Learns from your resources: AI can process vast amounts of written government resources to understand the right words to use and how to communicate effectively.
  • Can adapt to your style and tone: AI can also learn your desired communication style in different situations. Just think of how your tone might change from a social media post to a formal announcement to a warning letter to a local business. AI can adapt across languages.
  • Full integration: We can fully integrate AI into your systems and operations, reducing go-between work and allowing you to get the most out of AI.

Improving service delivery with AI

What would happen if everyone in your local district received the precise services they needed on time, every time? How would this change the number of irate, worried, or confused queries your resident services team receives in a day? Artificial intelligence can help you accomplish this precision.

AI can be used to improve service delivery by analysing data to identify areas where services are not meeting expectations. This can help Local Authorities make targeted improvements to services and ensure that residents are receiving the support they need. For example, AI can be used to identify areas where waste collection is inefficient or social care services are not meeting demand.

It can analyse query sentiment and provide resident satisfaction scores you can use to reliably track how each initiative impacts community perceptions.

AI for Government Will Reduce Costs

This is perhaps the most exciting benefit of AI in government. Despite your current best efforts, you recognise the omnipresent waste in the government processes. However, it seems impossible to fix that waste without spending an outrageous amount of money.

AI can help you become a better steward of the funds your community has entrusted you with, and these improvements don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. When properly implemented, AI will more than pay for itself and measurably cut costs over time.

How, you might ask?

By automating tasks, Local Authorities can reduce their reliance on staff and save on labour costs. Now, you may be envisioning a government ruled by AI. Where did all the people go? That could not be further from the truth. People thought the same thing would happen when computers entered office spaces, and before that, the simple calculator and the automobile.

When done correctly, AI doesn’t replace humans. It makes them more effective, improves work conditions, and generally increases morale. Overworked staff have room to breathe, which frees up mental power to improve the quality of their work. Humans can work in unison with AI to reduce costly mistakes that cost money to correct.

These simple yet strategic innovations cut costs.

In addition, AI can identify areas where resources are being underutilised, allowing Local Authorities to redirect them to areas where they are needed more. For example, AI can be used to optimise the allocation of social housing or reduce energy usage in public buildings.

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A Real-World Example of AI in Government: The City of Espoo, Finland

The City of Espoo in Finland undertook a unique experiment by using AI to integrate and analyse a vast amount of social, healthcare, and early education data spanning from 2002 to 2016. This project aimed to identify individuals at risk of social exclusion and other challenges by forecasting potential future needs up to five years in advance.

By proactively targeting services, Espoo was able to optimise resource allocation, thereby reducing unnecessary expenditures and improving service delivery. The use of AI in this context not only supported the city’s administrative goals but also significantly enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of its public services. This example illustrates how AI can help reduce costs and improve service quality by enabling more informed and proactive decision-making in government operations.

Pioneering Use of Generative AI in Public Services: New York State

Taking a trip across the pond, New York is setting a benchmark for integrating technology into government services by harnessing the capabilities of generative AI (gen AI). This initiative is transforming healthcare, citizen engagement, and service delivery across the state.

They used AI in the healthcare government sector to streamline operations, improving service speed and efficiency. This enhancement has significantly bettered healthcare outcomes for low-income New Yorkers by ensuring timely services. Similarly, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has revolutionised service experiences, boosting efficiency and public accessibility.

Sullivan County, New York used AI-enhanced chatbots that facilitate effective communication and increase transparency. This quick implementation showcases the potential of gen AI to make significant impacts even with minimal resources.

Finally, the New York University Langone used gen AI’s potential in predictive healthcare. By analysing medical records to foresee patient outcomes, the system enables early interventions, promoting a healthier community and potentially reducing long-term healthcare costs.

A Little Closer to Home: Tower Hamlets Council of London

Tower Hamlets Council faced significant challenges in engaging with its diverse community, marked by low online participation and excessive spending on inefficient advertising campaigns. An audit identified key areas for improvement, including enhancing digital query responses, boosting social media interaction, and trimming the fat on ad spend. AI consultant Joshua Reece of JReece Digital stepped guided Tower Hamlets Council through an overhaul of their communication strategies and upgraded their data analytics capabilities using AI. Within just six months of these changes, the council observed remarkable outcomes:

16%

Drop in Ad Spending

22%

Increase in Social Media Engagement

15%

Higher Email Click-Through

The Money and Time-Saving Capabilities of AI in Government

In conclusion, implementing artificial intelligence in government Local Authorities can provide numerous benefits, including improving efficiency, enhancing resident engagement, and reducing costs. Local Authorities that embrace AI for government can operate more efficiently, serve their communities better, and improve outcomes for all stakeholders. If you are a senior marketing or communications personnel in the UK Government sector looking to implement AI in your Local Authority, we can help.

Please visit our AI marketing page for more information on our tailored services.

Let’s Begin Your AI Journey

Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can help streamline your internal processes and improve efficiency.

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