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Empowering government workers with a Microsoft Copilot

  • Posted on January 25, 2024
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Generative Ai in government sector

I recently had a shock of embarrassment when I attempted to rent a car and was told that my driving license had expired. (What? How could I have missed my renewal? More importantly, how could 10 years have gone by in a flash?) Not to worry. I took a seat in the lobby, completed the renewal online, showed the car agent my proof of validity and was on my way.

Talk about feeling productive. This is exactly the type of consumerism that citizens are increasingly expecting from government agencies. In fact, in a survey by our parent company Accenture, 53% of respondents stated that accessing public services is frustrating, and 39% want more digital interactions.
How can governments not just meet these higher expectations but stay ahead of the change curve?

In spite of organizations feeling overwhelmed by AI hype the past year, the promise of AI is real. We have already seen some of what AI and generative AI can do, and its true potential for government lies ahead – from creating better policies to improving citizen relations to ensuring the security of data to empowering workers with copilots to make them more efficient and effective. Generative AI can boost public confidence in government and its service delivery, delighting constituents with swift, seamless, uncomplicated and secure citizen amenities.

2024 brings governments and public service agencies an opportunity to shed their image as technology laggards and become early adopters in the generative AI space. When used strategically and thoughtfully, this technology can transform how agencies operate internally and interact with the citizens they serve, laying the foundation for the future of work.

An AI digital assistant such as Microsoft Copilot makes work easier because it’s embedded in the applications many public service workers already use every day. It combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your organization’s data – all in the flow of work – and allows users to interact with their crucial tools, from Microsoft Word to PowerPoint, using everyday language “prompts” or inputs.

The use cases for government agencies are impressive for both the employee and citizen experience. For employees, where we believe faster adoption is possible, consider these applications:

  • Task optimization: Automate tasks such as data entry, report generation, or administrative work. Free up staff time to focus on more strategic and impactful activities. We see government employees partnering with an AI copilot in their everyday, gaining as much as 20 hours per week by being released from mundane tasks. And while the benefits start with efficiency, the possibilities are boundless.
  • Onboarding and knowledge sharing: A copilot at the fingertips of a new joiner can be a very powerful tool to save time and enable the employee to onboard quickly and effectively. Generative AI and indeed a copilot can enable new joiners to quickly learn about policies or procedures, and to navigate their new role and place in the organization. A “ChatGPT”-like chatbots can also enable all employees to share knowledge more effectively, by getting to the information they need much more efficiently than a simple search function.
  • Finance & operations: Fast track internal reporting and analysis while predicting external factors like inflation and geopolitical issues on program budgets. Utilize predictive templates in knowledge work for operations and finance, which are pre-designed structures or frameworks that aid in making predictions or forecasts related to operational and financial aspects of a business.
  • Program design and delivery: Aggregate services data, e.g. public assistance hotlines, and automate access to service through voice automation. Provide citizen assistance through conversational Al. Leverage speech recognition and voice assistance to speed up and standardize program participant intake.
  • Grant making and grant seeking: Streamline the grant making process by automating tasks such as eligibility criteria. Streamline the grant seeking process by analysing data from previous applications.

For citizens, consider:

  • Citizen services & education: Elevate self-service with “ChatGPT”-like chatbots in all government channels, including smart routing and automatic email answering on employment questions (maternity leave, redundancy, etc.), service questions (waste pickup, care services, etc.), complaints and more. Provide recommendations with the ability to respond in multiple languages.
  • Adaptive decision-making and eligibility: Real-time recommendations and insights can help government make better decisions regarding citizens, e.g. making immediate aid eligibility determinations based on vulnerability data. In the reverse, citizens can determine wait times for services such as housing and care.

And a word about security: we know that cybersecurity has to sit at the very heart of government and public service technology and be fully integrated into the Microsoft 365 tools teams are already using. Microsoft Copilot has the sophistication to do this. It will automatically inherit your valuable threat prevention and detection protocols, compliance checkpoints and privacy policies and processes. It will employ two-factor authentication, compliance boundaries and the most advanced privacy protections. Most importantly, your data will remain in its secure partition and be blocked from use for external training purposes.

So, are you ready to imagine what you can do with AI? Governments can be on the leading edge of experimentation by giving their employees the productivity copilots they’ve been asking for and citizens the modern consumer copilots they’re demanding. Read more here.

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