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UK government is exploring AI and machine learning to improve digital services

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Sarah Holmlund)

A new report from the Government Office for Science has revealed that the UK is exploring ways to overhaul its digital services through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

As more businesses have begun to develop and explore AI, it has also piqued the government's interest as it could be used to improve its ability to analyse data or make health, social care and emergency services more efficient.

The report entitled Artificial Intelligence: an overview for policy-makers, was written by Chief Scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport and explores the ways in which the government could utilise AI to increase its productivity and revenues while also improving its ability to make critical decisions. The UK government has yet to clearly define its intentions regarding these new technologies, though improving government services and data analysis are the main areas in which it is looking to apply AI and machine learning.

However, transparency is currently a big issue when it comes to adopting AI in a government setting and researchers are hard at work on the issue. For now, the government has pledged that all decisions will contain a “human in the loop” to ensure that the technology is not relied on too heavily.

The report highlighted data protection and privacy as the two biggest issues in its adoption of AI, saying: “Teams making use of artificial learning approaches need to understand how these existing frameworks apply in this context. For example, if deep learning is used to infer personal details that were not intentionally shared, it may not be clear whether consent has been obtained.”

Though the UK government is not likely to fully adopt these emerging technologies right away, it has still shown a great deal of forethought by examining them at such an early stage. 

Image Credit: Sarah Holmlund / Shutterstock

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.