As Government looks to use more AI-powered analytics , it will need data platforms that can evolve as new tools and new types of data emerge.
The K government has also been taking advantage of new AI technologies, establishing an Office for Artificial Intelligence and guidelines for how to use AI across the public sector. But while Government has made a strong start in using AI, it’s important that progress continues to be made as departments encounter new data sources, technologies and requirements.
In its report on Accelerating Competitive Advantage with AI, Microsoft lays out the importance of evolving AI platforms and skills to meet new challenges. This is crucial advice for Government, as new data trends and challenges will demand continuous management and evolution of the data platforms that underpin AI.
AI plays an important role in the four Grand Challenges
In September 2019, Government set out to put the UK at the forefront of future industry:
- Artificial Intelligence and data
- Ageing society
- Clean growth
- Future of mobility
AI plays an important role in all of them – but only if Government platforms can evolve to keep up with the rising tide of data.
For Government’s ‘Artificial Intelligence and data’ challenge, it plans to embed AI across the UK to create new jobs. However, AI also has a key role to play in the other three challenges.
For Government’s challenge to support healthy ageing, it has already committed to £300M in funding to support better diagnosis for UK patients through AI and new tech.
While AI isn’t directly involved in the grand challenges around clean growth and mobility, AI-driven analytics will be crucial to supporting these initiatives.
AI and the future of Government data
AI will also power other crucial Government initiatives, like the £1.7B Transforming Cities Fund that’s helping to develop smart cities across the UK. These urban centres will create a vast amount of data, and AI will be crucial in extracting meaningful insights from it.
Government is also investigating new ways to enhance security through analytics. A 2019 Home Office report identified the need to use data science with AI to find security threats and trends in datasets as they increase in “scale and volume, complexity, diversity and granularity”.
As these plans come to fruition, Government data platforms will see more data than ever before. The data platforms Government relies on must be ready for this growth.
Challenges lie beyond data
While all this new data will create a significant challenge for Government IT and data specialists, it’s just one of many hurdles the public sector must overcome in its drive for AI innovation.
As Government increasingly relies on AI to make automated decisions, questions are being raised about how departments can ensure fairness, accountability and transparency. A recent report has already raised concern about Government’s ability to be transparent around how it will use AI to make decisions. This kind of scrutiny will only increase as AI becomes a core part of Government decision-making.
There are also the changing technologies behind AI to consider. Artificial intelligence technologies are evolving at a swift pace, and as new technologies like Microsoft’s Cognitive Service develop, AI innovation will only accelerate.
Prepare for the AI future faster
Meeting these new AI technologies and trends head on requires a new set of skills that are often in short supply. A Royal Society report found that demand for workers with specialist data skills in the UK has increased by 231% between 2013 and 2018. By comparison, demand for all types of workers over the same period grew by just 36%.
Government is already making strides to bridge the data skills deficit, investing £110M into AI university courses. While this is a big step towards developing advanced AI skills, it will take time for those enrolled in these courses to graduate and eventually bring their expertise to the public sector. In the meantime, Government needs a way to get specialist data skills in to build and manage its data platforms – fast.
That’s where an experienced partner can help. At Adatis we have the skills and experience to build, manage and evolve the next-generation data and analytics platforms that AI relies on.
And because we stay at the forefront of data innovation, we can also help you harness emerging technologies to gain predictive insights from new sources and types of data.
Learn more about Government’s data future
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we work with organisations in all industries to help them make the most of AI, data and analytics opportunities. In the public sector, we’ve helped organisations like the NHS and the Cabinet Office to better structure their data, make the most of machine learning, and spot opportunities and threats faster.
You can read more about how we’ve helped (both local and central) Government departments use data to reduce costs and improve service delivery in our white paper, Data: They Key to Efficient and Effective Local Government.