UK AI task force announced to boost public sector productivity

20/11/2023 | Financial Times

The UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has revealed plans to establish a task force of 30 experts in AI and data engineering with an annual budget of £5mn. The unit will aim to transform public services and expedite the compilation of information from different departments. The task force's priorities will be to tackle welfare fraud, assist in processing asylum claims, and overhaul the interface between the public and the NHS. Dowden has stated that AI is the "closest thing you have to a silver bullet in terms of driving efficiency for the taxpayer" and that the unit will bring a high level of expertise to identify innovative solutions to projects. However, allowing AI a role in decisions about welfare abuse and asylum claims could prove controversial due to algorithms amplifying racial bias in the past.

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Rt Hon Oliver Dowden

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