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10 Real-World Examples Of AI In Government

10 Real-World Examples Of AI In Government

While you’ve been using artificial intelligence (AI) for years (whether you know it or not), it’s been getting a lot of attention lately with the introduction of ChatGPT. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, click on over and ask the infamous chatbot what to plant in your fall garden or to write a haiku about government budgeting. We’ll wait…

Welcome back. If you think that’s neat, imagine harnessing artificial intelligence technology to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and improve citizen services within your local government.

That’s exactly what’s happening right now.

Check out these 10 real-world examples of local governments using AI to streamline and automate routine processes so that bright, human-minded team members can focus on more strategic initiatives.

AI is a collection of interrelated technologies and systems that impersonates the human mind for solving problems, performing particular tasks, or making recommendations or decisions. And I think the word “impersonate” is really, really important because we’re getting to a point with AI and particularly generative media where it’s difficult to discern that the bot is not thinking for itself — but it’s designed to impersonate just that.

Chris Bullock
CEO & Co-founder of ClearGov

1. Writing Financial Narratives With AI Budgeting Software

Traditionally, department heads struggled to create budget narratives. They may succeed at running their departments with ease, but staring at a blank page and being asked to justify their expenditures with words may feel daunting.

With AI, generative media tools can automatically draft narratives based on a few talking points or financial data from your budget. Officials simply refine the generated content to fit their preferences, and they’re freed up to focus on more strategic and productive tasks.

ClearGov’s generative media tool in Digital Budget Book is called FirstDraft for a very specific reason. We do not believe that AI is going to write your budget book. We believe that it’s going to write that first draft for you so you’re not staring at a blank page.

Chris Bullock
CEO & Co-founder of ClearGov

2. Policy Draft Generation With ChatGPT

Creating policies often demands extensive research of other municipalities before drafting a policy that works for your community.

AI, specifically ChatGPT, can quickly generate policy drafts by referencing thousands of municipal examples. The more specific you are in the prompts, the more tailored the draft will be. For example, a major city will have a very different infrastructure development policy from a rural town. Providing details and your demographics in the prompt enables ChatGPT to reference policies from local governments similar to yours.

3. Constituent Support With AI Chatbots

Conversational chatbots have evolved to provide answers in a more human-like manner. In fact, most chats you initiate on a company’s website begin with a bot before transferring you to a real person if the bot can’t help. In many cases, you have no idea you aren’t chatting with a real person from the start!

By accessing extensive training data, modern AI-powered bots can respond to queries for anything from recycling schedules to how to pay taxes. This reduces call and email volume and can even drive revenue when constituents can quickly get answers and get routed to the correct page on your government website.

4. Meeting Minutes With AI Transcript Tools

Secretaries have long struggled to manually write or type meeting minutes in real-time. They may spend extra time reading or listening to a transcript after a recorded meeting to ensure they got all the notable points.

AI-powered tools can “attend” virtual meetings, transcribe discussions, and create concise summaries complete with links to relevant portions of the recorded video. Some tools can even extrapolate and highlight action items that came from the discussion.

5. Infrastructure Assessment With AI 3D Mapping Technology

Manual inspections of roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure every few years is expensive and time-consuming.

AI 3D mapping technologies create a digital “twin” of your city. With scanning equipment mounted to a vehicle, workers simply drive around town and the software automatically grades roads, reports on the condition of infrastructure assets, and identifies issues like potholes. It’s affordable enough to do every year, and the more frequent scans enable a city to identify degradation over time and save money in the long run.

6. Property Assessments With AI Aerial Imagery

In-person visits to properties cost time, money, and valuable human resources.

High-resolution aerial imagery combined with AI can automate data collection, change analysis, and performance tracking of assets. This helps prioritize maintenance and repair work while reducing the need for in-person inspections.

7. Trash Monitoring With Drones & AI Analysis

Monitoring trash in large, hard-to-access areas (like estuaries) is traditionally done on foot or via drone. But even with drones, a human has to manually view the footage to identify trash.

Drones and AI can work in tandem to identify and track trash accumulation in large areas. AI tools can be trained to recognize trash and eliminate the manual viewing of footage. In fact, AI can accurately analyze 35,000 images in 18 hours versus the month (or more) it takes to view the same photos by hand.

This approach improves environmental monitoring and helps governments develop effective cleanup strategies. The images can even be compiled to create a trash-monitoring “playbook” to guide local community groups and municipal programs in cleanup efforts.

8. Traffic Enforcement With AI Mobile Perception Systems

Manual stop enforcements by police officers require a lot of human resources, and it’s impossible to catch every traffic violation. Even cameras that catch red light violations are only effective to some degree.

Mobile perception systems utilize AI to improve traffic management and enforcement. These systems detect violations other than speeding and red lights, like bus arm violations. AI effectively captures license plate data and automatically processes violations to contribute to safer roadways.

9. Utility Revenue Recovery With AI-Targeted Digital Advertising

Mailing past due utility invoices and promoting payment assistance programs via postcards is expensive and ineffective.

By leveraging AI, local governments can target residents with unpaid bills through digital ads on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites. AI enables governments to create highly targeted ads based on geographic data and delinquent customer data. By meeting customers where they are and making it easy to get help with payments, governments can recover more revenue than with traditional programs.

In fact, when Wilmington, Delaware was faced with $24M in unpaid water bills and used this approach, they were able to recover over $1.1M in unpaid bills.

10. Short-term Rental Enforcement With AI Crawlers

With the explosion of short-term rentals in many areas, governments are finding it impossible to keep up with ensuring all new rentals are reported and comply with local statutes. As a result, potential revenue from short-term rental certificates and taxes is lost and tenants may not be protected under local ordinances.

AI-powered crawlers can monitor short-term rental listings on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo to ensure compliance with local statutes. By automatically identifying new listings, local authorities can take timely actions to manage the short-term rental market and drive revenue.

As AI technology continues to evolve, its applications in government are likely to expand and transform the way local administrations interact with citizens and manage resources.

Think of AI like a tractor. Sure, you can plow the fields with a manual hoe, but you can be a lot more productive with a tractor. But, the tractor is a tool that still needs a human to drive it, just like AI.

Chris Bullock
CEO & Co-founder of ClearGov

If you’re already a ClearGov customer, you’ve likely seen first-hand how AI can help you forecast and develop an award-winning digital budget book, shaving off countless hours from your annual budgeting process. New here? We’d love to show you how ClearGov can transform your processes! Schedule a free consultation today.

August 22, 2023

Matt Benati

Matt Benati is Vice President of Marketing for ClearGov®, the leading provider of Budget Cycle Management software for local governments. Matt is passionate about helping organizations modernize their annual budgeting process by automating workflow, increasing collaboration, and improving transparency between governments and citizens.

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