Economic disruption and runaway AI: what can governments do?

Governments around the world are grappling with the same questions on AI: What is it? What can it do? What does it mean for our country? There are three pressing questions that governments need to answer in the short-term:

  • how to manage the transition in the economy?
  • how to ensure the use of AI reflects your values?
  • how to use the power of AI to deliver better services for citizens?

 

Read More
AIRichard Stirling
Want to get serious about artificial intelligence? You’ll need an AI strategy

Governments are waking up to the fact that artificial intelligence (AI) could transform their economies, public services, and workforces. If governments are to capitalise on the AI opportunity, they need to have well thought out structures and processes in place to do so. Seven countries have now published national AI strategies, and they are declaring themselves as the new global leaders in AI.

Read More
“The things that make me interesting cannot be digitised”: leadership lessons from the Drucker Forum

The entreaty to ask leaders to be regularly uncomfortable, quiet, and wrong is a reminder that one of the most important traits a leader needs is courage. While plenty of leaders are happy being quiet, few enjoy being uncomfortable or wrong. This means not only accepting correction or questioning, but actively seeking it out, wading through awkwardness on both sides, taking criticism and using it to get better.

Read More
Why Black people don’t start businesses (and how more inclusive innovation could make a difference)

According to the Race Disparity Audit, in 2016, Black workers were the least likely to be self-employed at 11%. My hypothesis as a Black business owner myself is that a large number of Black-run businesses are in low-barrier sectors such as care work or cleaning. I strongly suspect that the number of Black-run tech startups for example, would show a bleak picture for those overall ethnicity statistics. Why is that?

Read More
Motherboard knows best?

We might expect that algorithms would be seen as more objective arbiters in disputes, or more impartial recruiters for jobs. But they are not. Researchers have observed that people rely on human judgement, even when informed about the shortcomings of human decision making... People are not particularly alarmed by the application of technology in the form of online platforms like turbo-tax or dashboards. The problem usually arises when algorithms are used to inform judgements which have a significant impact on citizens’ lives, such as sentencing criminals or deciding who should receive welfare payments. 

Read More
AI: the ultimate intern

It doesn’t matter that AI isn’t as smart as the humans on your team. It is already capable of saving you time and energy by taking the easiest tasks off your hands, leaving you free to focus on more important things. 

Read More
AIRichard StirlingAI
Why unconference? #Reimagine2017

A traditional conference or workshop structure inherently subjugates itself to hierarchies of every sort... At an unconference, everyone is brought to the same level, and everyone’s contributions are valued. There is a rule of “two feet” at an unconference: if you are not contributing or asking questions, you are in the wrong room. As such, the success of the format is that it forces those with interests, stakes, and opinions into the same place: with no space for spectators.

Read More
Isak Nti AtareComment
AI: Is a robot assistant going to steal your job?

Conversations about artificial intelligence incite a reaction that is equal parts excitement and dread. Excitement because of the potential cost-saving efficiency gains that may come with AI. Dread because any mention of automation induces a fear of redundancy and disposability among mid-skilled and low-skilled workers.

In public sector management the conversation about machine learning applications is no different...

Read More
Making it personal: civil service and morality

There are moments as a teacher or a facilitator when the mood in the room changes very suddenly. Sometimes this is the beginning of a disaster: misreading the room, choosing an example with an awful hidden meaning, or simply losing trust. But at other times, it is when someone shows something of themselves – something real – and the whole room turns towards them. These are some of my favourite moments. Earlier this month, training a group of talented civil servants in Ukraine, the room turned towards a participant who talked about God.
 

Read More
Five levels of AI in public service

AI is a very broad term which covers everything from machine learning to general intelligence. People can get caught up thinking about how to design the perfect system for dealing with problems we won’t face for years. I’ve been thinking about what a common framework might look like to make it clearer what we mean when we talk about AI.

Read More
AIRichard Stirlingai, AI
Why Government is ready for AI

The potential of Artificial Intelligence comes from its ability to deal with the complexity of real life. It offers is the beginnings of computer programmes that can make judgments - rather than simply following preset rules.

Read More
AIRichard Stirling