Thomas Vogl is an OII DPhil student interested in public administration, organizational studies, and digital change. His thesis will explore public sector organizational memory in the digital age.
Local governments face increased challenges providing services to their communities, especially in light of austerity, shifting central government policies that impact local responsibilities, changing demographics, and diverse resident needs. UK local authorities are exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to fully or partially automate tasks or support their frontline workers to deliver services more efficiently and effectively. While there have been a number of successful projects related to back-office automation, predictive analytics for decision support, or the use of chatbots for interactions with residents, little is known about the practical challenges that local authorities face in making these projects realities.
This report identifies the key practical challenges that local authorities face when collaborating with industry or striking out on their own. It sets out the particular problems faced by local government in its use of AI, before suggesting measures necessary for the implementation of artificial intelligence for good governance in the UK.