Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence in Government

Published on July 13, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just a buzzword or a concept reserved for tech enthusiasts anymore.

It has the power to revolutionize the way governments operate too… helping them fulfill their mission with unparalleled finesse.

As our public services venture into the online realm, it’s crucial to ensure that these digital transformations prioritize human needs, establish trust, uphold transparency, adhere to ethical standards, and maintain utmost accountability.

In this article, we dive headfirst into the boundless potential of AI, exploring how it can become the government’s most valuable ally in delivering top-notch services to citizens.

Use cases of AI in governments

●    Digitizing paper documents

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Computer Vision join forces to digitize those piles of paper documents, bringing order and efficiency to the chaos.

With AI-powered technologies, government employees can seamlessly extract information from documents, automate data entry processes, and accelerate the processing of crucial information.

This not only saves time and resources but also ensures that important tasks are completed swiftly and accurately.

●    Predicting risk for social issues

In a world grappling with widespread issues such as homelessness, drug abuse, and mental health deterioration, the interplay of these problems often exacerbates the challenges faced by individuals and increases the demand for government assistance.

Unfortunately…. the traditional approach of policymakers has been primarily focused on reactive relief efforts rather than preventive measures.

However, with the advent of predictive models, there is an opportunity to shift the paradigm.

By harnessing the insights generated by these models, policymakers can gauge the potential effectiveness of proposed programs and tailor their policy goals accordingly.

Whether it’s aiming to reduce drug addiction within a specific community or addressing food security in underserved areas — leveraging predictive models enables policymakers to proactively shape their strategies and work towards positive outcomes for the communities they serve.

●    Accelerating medical discoveries

By leveraging AI’s computational power, governments can accelerate the discovery of new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases.

AI algorithms can sift through vast volumes of medical data, identify patterns, and uncover hidden insights that might have eluded human researchers.

This enables governments to make informed decisions about public health policies, allocate resources efficiently, and drive advancements in medical science.

Ultimately… AI empowers governments to save lives and improve the overall well-being of their citizens.

●     Enhancing service delivery

AI comes to the rescue by improving both the speed and quality of service delivery in the public sector.

Chatbots and virtual assistants equipped with AI capabilities can handle routine inquiries, guide citizens through complex processes, and provide personalized assistance 24/7.

Moreover, AI-powered systems can analyze vast amounts of data to optimize service workflows, identify bottlenecks, and streamline operations.

The result?

Citizens receive faster, more efficient, AND tailored services — ensuring a positive experience and bolstering trust in government institutions.

●    Tackling public health challenges

Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics have posed formidable challenges, spreading faster than governments and health entities could respond to effectively.

Interestingly, even before the world had fully grasped the magnitude of the COVID-19 threat, AI systems had already detected the emergence of an unfamiliar pneumonia outbreak in China.


Today, countries around the globe are leveraging the power of AI tools to monitor and predict the spread of the virus in real-time… enabling swift diagnosis and accelerating the search for treatments on an unprecedented scale.

The marriage of AI and public health is paving the way for a faster, smarter response to global health crises, empowering us to confront future challenges with greater preparedness and resilience.

To conclude

From a lack of specialized talent to limited investments in research and innovation, governments encounter unique challenges that hinder the rapid adoption and deployment of AI.

These obstacles are compounded by the stringent legal and risk constraints that public services organizations must navigate to ensure trust, safety, morality, and fairness.

However, government agencies are rising to the occasion, treading carefully through this maze of legal and ethical considerations while steadfastly pursuing the potential of AI.

With privacy, security, and ethics at the forefront, governments MUST work tirelessly to unlock the benefits of AI while safeguarding the welfare of their citizens.

By proactively addressing these evolving challenges, we can shape a future where AI-driven public services uplift and empower communities, leaving no one behind.


About the Author

Mohammad J Sear is focused on bringing purpose to digital in government.

He has obtained his leadership training from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA and holds an MBA from the University of Leicester, UK.

After a successful 12+ years career in the UK government during the premiership of three Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, Mohammad moved to the private sector and has now for 20+ years been advising government organizations in the UK, Middle East, Australasia and South Asia on strategic challenges and digital transformation.

He is currently working for Ernst & Young (EY) and leading the Digital Government practice efforts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and is also a Digital Government and Innovation lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po, France.

As a thought-leader some of the articles he has authored include: “Digital is great but exclusion isn’t – make data work for driving better digital inclusion” published in Harvard Business Review, “Holistic Digital Government” published in the MIT Technology Review, “Want To Make Citizens Happy – Put Experience First” published in Forbes Middle East.

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