The Technology sector has joined forces with the UK Government to pledge an investment of nearly £1 billion, to develop new AI (artificial intelligence) technologies here in the UK.
The AI Sector Deal, which has over 50 private sector participating businesses, will contribute £300 million, with another £300 million provided by the government. The remaining £400+ million will come from existing government grants.
Innovative technology is gaining momentum and driving a transformation of the public sector; slashing costs and upgrading services. In 2017, Notting Hill Carnival saw the Metropolitan Police use AI to drive their facial recognition process and cross reference with other crime data to identify likely offenders. This is one example of an explosion in new technology across the public sphere with the next phase utilising technology to rethink, reshape and reinvent how the government works. The new model will include use of blockchain, machine-learning, drones, robotics and IoT, thus providing vital data in real-time.
Digitising a Brexit Deal
UK Politicians are desperately trying to establish the best Brexit deal, and new technology could be about to save the day. Lars Karlsson, former director of the World Customs Organisation and deputy director general of Swedish Customs was commissioned by the European Parliament to write his study, titled ‘Smart Border 2.0’. Karlsson says he remains confident that there are neither technological nor legal barriers. This 2.0 project would enable vehicles to be tracked automatically by their number plate. It would mean avoiding the use of a manned border with people physically checking goods, freeing up unnecessary time and space, and eradicating possible human errors.
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), GPS tracking, radio-frequency identification amongst others would each have a role to play in the ultra-high-tech invisible border.
In Government, we have led the world in transforming our services and systems, using digital technology to make them easier, simpler and cheaper. Now, as we prepare to leave the European Union, our Strategy will create an economy which is resilient to change and fit for the future
Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for N.Ireland
Closer to Home
All councils should focus on using digital methods across departments and with other related public services. This is not just to save money, but to increase capacity, resilience, and innovation, ultimately creating better outcomes for citizens.
Dacorum Borough Council partnered with Hull University to carry out rigorous research on the latest thinking in the field of UX. The top three findings were the following:
- More residents opt to go online for council services
- A 60% shift away from phone calls, letters and visits would bring forward significant savings in staff time and resources
- The Council expects to see an improvement in customer satisfaction as more residents benefit from the flexibility of digital services
Looking at 26 newly digitised processes, the borough is projecting (and aiming) to save 4,804 working days over a five-year period. There would be a further 1,612 working days saved every year after that. Based on this analysis, it estimates that delivery of channel shift could save in the region of £435,000 over five years.
Over the next three years the council is also forecasting a total reduction in postage costs of £53,000 which represents a 33% reduction from the baseline cost.
The real power of digital technologies goes beyond the functions they offer, by providing analytics in real-time that can make a significant impact on the way the Government works day-to-day.
UK Councils should turn to industries such as technology and engineering for a glimpse into the future. With the objective to be lean, agile and data-driven and creating a mobile workforce to free up public space and public spend. Digital technologies have helped councils take a more ambitious approach to becoming future proof.
Have a look at some of the councils and boroughs we work with below.