Innovation and changeDigital TransformationGovernment sets plan on harnessing new technologies

Government sets plan on harnessing new technologies

A new AI Guide, an online marketplace and Technology Innovation Strategy will focus on how government can harness the potential of new technologies

Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, has set out plans detailing how new technologies can revolutionise public services.

Firstly, the Government Digital Service (GDS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) have published joint guidance on how to build and use artificial intelligence (AI) in the public sector.

Secondly, the Technology Innovation Strategy, which sets out the government’s approach to enabling widespread adoption of new technologies across the public sector, has also been announced through a policy paper.

Tech start-ups will also see a boost to their ability to win government contracts through the launch of Spark, a new online marketplace that provides a route into the public sector for companies offering innovative technologies.

Many digital transformation stories in public services have featured recently from the NHS, DfT, UK Police and local authorities. Government technology is being developed and used to address noise regulation, deliver Blue Badge Digital Service and develop cyber operations centres for MOD.

The application of AI in the UK is being done in difference areas like allowing people with disability to code and transforming healthcare.

New opportunities for AI

A guide to using artificial intelligence in the public sector covers how to assess if using AI will help you meet user needs. The new AI Guide will also help in determining how the public sector can best use AI and implement AI ethically, fairly and safely.

The guide will be used across government to help departments implement new opportunities for AI, such as how to make cancer diagnosis more reliable and reduce fraud, in an ethical and safe way.

It also brings together, for the first time, research on how artificial intelligence is already being used by the public sector to save money and improve services.

OAI, GDS, and The Alan Turing Institute (ATI) have partnered to produce guidance on how to use AI ethically and safely.

The guide also includes a collection of examples of how AI is being used by the public sector and elsewhere with case studies from Department for International Development, Department of Transport and prison reports, among others.

Digital, data and technology

The Government Technology Innovation Strategy sets out how government will prepare to use emerging technologies to build better public services.

It provides a framework for departments to use as they make plans for digital, data and technology ahead of the next spending review through the following three sections:

  1. People, establishing technical skills and creating innovative leaders and culture
  2. Process, which includes help with funding experimentation and innovative procurement
  3. Data and technology, including accessing and sharing useful data, how we can tackle legacy technology and updating standards and guidance

Radical and Disruptive Innovation

Spark Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) provides a range of emerging technology products including Iof T, AI  and automation, simulated environments, wearables and new improvements in security. Part of the Crown Commercial Service, the Technology Innovation Marketplace has been established to enable government and public sector to access new and emerging technology products.

There are a wide range of organisations on the marketplace interested in working with the public sector. Suppliers applying to join the marketplace need to demonstrate their ability to offer suitably innovative products through innovation that fits either a Radical Innovation or a Disruptive Innovation.

Harnessing technology to transform public services

In a speech at the start of London Tech Week on 10 June, Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden said: “The UK has led the world in harnessing technology to transform public services, but we cannot afford to sit back. Adoption of new technologies by the private sector is changing how people live their lives and the public sector has to pick up the pace to stay relevant.

“Artificial intelligence is already being used to identify rogue garages and improve prison safety, but government can go much further. New technologies like AI can deliver better services for less and I am determined that government is at the forefront of this revolution.

“Through initiatives like Spark, I also want to make it easier for start-ups and small businesses to deliver services for government so that we make the most of the UK’s thriving GovTech sector.”

Digital Secretary, Jeremy Wright said: “Artificial intelligence is already having a positive impact across society – from improving fraud detection to better and quicker diagnoses of medical conditions.

“The UK government has already been recognised as world-leading in its readiness for AI and we continue to push leaders across the public sector to recognise its impact in delivering more personalised and efficient experiences.

“Our newly appointed AI Council of industry experts will boost the growth and use of AI in the UK further by helping us to realise its full potential.”

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