Can tech tame bloated civil service?



dmg media (UK)


A ‘CRACK’ squad of artificial intelligence experts is being brought in by the Government to tackle benefit fraud, asylum backlogs and the bloated civil service. Around 30 specialists from across the tech industry and academia are being assembled to work out how best to use the latest AI, such as ChatGPT, to save taxpayers money. With a budget of £5 million mostly going towards the ‘competitive salaries’ on offer, the team members will work to improve productivity in key areas such as healthcare, welfare and immigration. The plans will also likely cause ‘significant’ job cuts within the civil service – which has a vast headcount of nearly half a million officials – particularly in administrative jobs. Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden said: ‘I genuinely think it’s the closest thing you have to a silver bullet in terms of driving efficiency for the taxpayer.’ Britons would no longer find themselves frustrated by delays with public officials, Mr Dowden said, turning a culture of ‘computer says no’ to one of ‘computer says yes’. He said AI would ‘transform productivity’ among civil servants who found themselves ‘stifled by systems, bogged down by bureaucracy, peeved by processes that haven’t changed in decades’.