PUBLIC recently hosted its annual GovTech Summit, the world’s leading event for public sector innovation which brings together the world’s brightest technological innovators and global policymakers to rethink how governments operate in a digital world.
This year’s event focused on unpacking the current state of GovTech across Europe and beyond, exploring everything from how can we procure, integrate and deliver GovTech more effectively, to how to leverage technology to tackle online abuse, the climate crisis, and to create more efficient, inclusive and accessible health and social care systems, among many other topics.
A cross-cutting theme which emerged across the 25+ discussions at the Summit was the importance of unlocking the potential of data and AI to strengthen digital transformation in new ways. Below we round up some of the key insights on data and AI from the jam-packed, full-day event:
Building public trust to drive innovation
In several discussions across the Summit, the lack of public trust in government use of data and AI was identified as a key barrier to innovation in GovTech. A general consensus emerged that governments need to develop strategies that instil a sense of public trust to enable the next stage of government digital transformation across sectors, particularly in healthcare. For example, Andre Rogaczewski (CEO and Co-Founder at Netcompany) noted that 20% of the Danish population don’t want to provide their data to the health sector even when it is anonymised.
In a discussion exploring how AI can be applied in the public sector while safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms, members of ELSA Labs Marieke van Putten, Mirjam Plantinga, Astrid Boeijen, and Marloes Pomp affirmed that while there is tremendous potential to leverage data and AI in the public sector, the risks associated with these tools need to be identified and addressed proactively in order to advance confidence-building.
In another discussion on best practices for the responsible and ethical use of algorithms, Stefan de Blij (Senior Consultant at Verdonck, Klooster & Associates), argued that while algorithms can be leveraged to find solutions to complex societal problems, this can only be done effectively if they have been thoughtfully designed to minimise bias, and that the data they rely on is of a high quality.
The nascent potential of ‘JusticeTech’
In a panel discussion exploring how innovative tech can be leveraged to improve citizens’ access to justice, Pedro Tavares (State Secretary for Justice at the Ministry of Justice, Portugal) highlighted that data and AI can be applied in innovative ways to facilitate two-way communication between governments and their citizens, and that the data underlying those interactions can be leveraged to help governments understand citizen needs. Moreover, he explained that in order to incentivise innovation in the LegalTech sector, frameworks need to be developed which support developers to focus on the right datasets and value propositions that would yield value-added services.
The next phase of digital health transformation
In a panel discussion exploring the role HealthTech can play to address and mitigate current health crises, Dr. Stein Olaf Skrovseth (Director of the Norwegian Centre for E-health Research) argued that the main challenges to effective and streamlined health care delivery are timely and efficient data sharing across care providers, and the lack of public trust in sharing personal information. In the same discussion, Anas Nader (CEO and Co-Founder at Patchwork) added that the next phase of digital transformation in health needs to focus on developing tools that support new staffing models for integrated health care systems in order to unlock streamlined service delivery across systems.
PUBLIC’s data services
At PUBLIC we work with organisations at the very early stages of their data solution journey, to co-design options for transforming public policy with data. We then work to build solutions and scale them to maximise impact. For an exploratory call, contact email@example.com.
Whether you were able to attend live or not, gain early access to the full recorded sessions from the day by completing the short feedback form here.
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