Both Registers are intended to show where the cities are currently making use of AI and how the algorithms work.
“We are proud to tell everyone openly what we use AI for”, says Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki. “We aim to be the city in the world that best capitalises on digitalisation, and digitalisation is strongly associated with the use of artificial intelligence. With the help of artificial intelligence, we can give people in the city better services available anywhere and at any time.”
The Cities of Helsinki and Amsterdam want to improve both the availability of services and the experiences of customers, and artificial intelligence can help in this. For example, Helsinki's chatbot experiments are a step towards enabling services to be reached anywhere and at any time.
At the moment, a large number of AI experiments are underway in different sectors of cities. The services now ready and in use have been compiled in one place in the brand new Artificial Intelligence Register in both cities. It's a window to the AI systems that Helsinki and Amsterdam use.
“Algorithms play an increasingly important role in our lives,” said Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam (Digital City). “We are on a mission to create as much understanding about algorithms as possible and be transparent about the way we - as cities - use them. We take another important step with the launch of these algorithm registers.”
The city authorities of Amsterdam have identified the role of AI in municipal administration, leading to a number of recent initiatives - including creation of a CivTech AI Lab. Both cities plan to add more applications to their AI registers during the autumn.
James is the Editor of Government Transformation magazine, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the UK's biggest network of public sector transformation conferences.