Greater comfort with artificial intelligence a factor in increased expectations for government innovation
ARLINGTON, Va.; Sept. 20, 2018 – Enthusiasm for artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to drive heightened citizen expectations for government innovation and personalized services, according to results of a multi-country survey from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
The survey of more than 6,000 citizens from Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States found that citizens overwhelmingly favor an increased government focus on the digital delivery of public services — including more personalization — and easier, more-secure ways to share and access data. Most respondents (86 percent) view digital delivery of public services as equally or more important to them than traditional methods of public-service delivery.
The survey also found that as citizens increasingly access more user-friendly AI-driven solutions in their daily lives, they expect the same type of innovation to also ease their access to government services. Specifically, nearly half of respondents (44 percent) cited personalized services as a top priority when interacting with government.
“Personalized digital government services are better equipped to address the needs of the modern citizen,” said Mark Lyons, who leads Accenture’s work to improve citizen services. “For instance, information and services that a taxpayer sees on an agency website should be more specific to individual needs, online use patterns and how that person wants to interact with the government. Personalized government entails an enhanced level of citizen services based on factors such as preferences, age, demographics or location, better meeting constituent needs and lifestyles.”
Survey findings show that respondents are willing to provide personal information to access digital benefits and more personalized government services. For instance:
- About four in 10 citizens (42 percent) would willingly use “internet of things” devices to share personal data with government to receive discounts or improved services;
- Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of citizens would provide biometric data such as fingerprints, retinal scans and voice ID to government in exchange for more-personalized services; and
- More than half (54 percent) of citizens would be willing to share their fingerprints in return for more-personalized government services.
The survey found that most citizens increasingly expect government services to be provided digitally and are enthusiastic about innovation around specific applications. For instance, half (51 percent) of respondents said they would like to use an AI-enabled chatbot to learn about visa requirements for international travel; slightly more said they want human services agencies to use AI to speed eligibility decisions (52 percent) and better identify service needs (55 percent); and nearly six in 10 (57 percent) favor the use of virtual reality technology to create immersive learning environments in higher education.
“As emerging technologies like AI, machine learning and robotics create a new reality for public services, citizens desire rapid government innovation,” Lyons said. “Public-sector employees will be a critical component to meeting that expectation and to advancing technology to better engage with citizens.”
Creating new digital tools and hiring employees with the necessary digital skills are essential for government innovation, the survey determined. Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) want government to incorporate citizen feedback to improve digital applications and services and nearly two thirds say it is important for government to attract top talent capable of working with emerging technologies.
Accenture surveyed 6,000 citizens aged 18 or older in Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States on a variety of public service issues and topics. The survey was conducted online in May 2018. Results for the full global sample are statistically significant with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 449,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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