Artificial Intelligence Raises Citizen Expectations of Government Services


A new survey from Accenture shows that the rise of artificial intelligence is leading citizens to expect more from their governments.

Accenture asked 6,000 citizens in six countries their preferences and found that 86 percent preferred digital service delivery and nearly half cite personalized services as a top priority when interacting with government. Responses show that individuals expect their interactions with government to work like their interactions with other AI-driven consumer transactions. They want to see automation, personalization, and intuitive design choices when they access earned benefits and other services.

“Personalized government entails an enhanced level of citizen services based on factors such as preferences, age, demographics or location, better meeting constituent needs and lifestyles,” explains Mark Lyons, who leads Accenture’s work to improve citizen experiences.

The report also shows that if government takes steps to modernize service delivery, individuals would be willing to provide personal information in order to access digitized benefits. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of citizens would provide biometric data such as fingerprints, retinal scans and voice ID to government in exchange for more-personalized services another 42 percent said they would willingly use “internet of things” devices to share personal data with government to receive discounts or improved services.

Additionally, the survey found that respondents are willing to be active participants in the evolution of digital delivery of government services. Forty-five percent of citizens said they would be willing to participate in focus groups or committees to improve a service they use, and half (51 percent) support the use of new technologies such as AI and virtual reality to learn more about government and streamline applications for jobs, visas and passports, tax filings and student loans.

Overall, the survey results show that creating new digital tools and hiring employees with the necessary digital skills are essential for government innovation. More than 50 percent of individuals in the survey said that they see artificial intelligence as a tool that can be used to create new services and also take some friction out of working with the government. Many said they would be okay with interacting with chatbots to learn about benefits that are available. Others said they could see a future where virtual reality allows them to immerse themselves in educational and other public environments remotely.

“Public-sector employees will be a critical component to meeting that expectation and to advancing technology to better engage with citizens,” Lyons said.

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