Swiss government seeks to strengthen AI for public good

New partnership in Switzerland, modelled on the UK's successful partnership between the Office for National Statistics and the Turing Institute, seeks to promote adoption of ethical AI and data science across Swiss public sector.

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) is partnering with the Swiss Data Science Centre (SDSC) to encourage the use of data science and artificial intelligence within the Swiss Government. The FSO is equivalent to the ONS.

The first strand of cooperation is to strengthen the FSO's Data Science Competence Centre (DSCC), of which the SDSC will become a strategic partner. 

Georges-Simon Ulrich"With this partnership, the FSO is enabling itself to fulfill the fundamental mission assigned to it by the Federal Council in May 2020. Following the launch of its DSCC on 1 January 2021, it will also be able to meet the challenges brought about by the profound changes in the data ecosystem and by the increased use of algorithms in the public sector," said Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director General of the FSO.

The DSCC will function as a service provider in the field of data science for the whole of the federal administration, and aim to support other levels of local government in the country.

The DSCC's mission is to work at the crossroads between data science and artificial intelligence. Its mission is to build skills allowing the use of methods, techniques and practices arising from data science and artificial intelligence to obtain a new understanding of fields related to public policy and thus to help with decision-making for the public good "in accordance with ethical principles".

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