HM Treasury has highlighted the potential for AI to boost productivity in the public sector, with its Chief Secretary having met with experts in the field.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, hosted a roundtable of academic and business leaders to discuss the technology’s potential in driving productivity growth, saving taxpayers money and improving public services. This includes views on how AI can be used to improve customer experiences and how the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has used the technology to save staff 25,000 working hours.
The Chief Secretary asked for opinions on what would be required to implement AI safely and responsibly, noting the UK has attracted £18 billion of private investment since 2016 and is third in the 2022 Government AI Readiness Index and highest in Western Europe, but was placed tenth in the public sector category.
“If we don’t make our public services more productive, we will be trapped in an unsustainable cycle of spending increases,” the Chief Secretary said. “Through the use of safe AI, we can unchain our nurses, teachers, police officers and civil servants from time consuming admin, freeing them up to help the taxpayer.”
The Chief Secretary also took part in Google Cloud’s flagship annual event, Google Next London, by delivering a speech on the role of digital transformation, AI and innovation in driving productivity. Here, he said that the UK government has the potential to be completely hosted by cloud computing.
“I passionately believe that the UK government has the potential to be the first national government in the world 100% hosted on public cloud and 100% free of legacy,” he said.