Cognitive Governments Solve Vexing World Problems

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Governments and public agencies around the world use cognitive systems to improve all facets of daily life for their citizens; from public health to transportation, education to economic development, cognitive systems are helping to meet today’s greatest challenges. It is now possible to automate tasks that only humans used to be able to do. Examples of cognitive technologies include: machine learning, natural language processing, speech recognition, and robotics.

According to Gov2020:

“By 2020, the cognitive technologies–machine learning, natural language processing, speech recognition, and robotics–start to augment the government workforce and improve the quality and efficiency of government systems. These technologies bring forth a range of applications in government including law enforcement, transportation, healthcare, and even fraud detection. More importantly humans remain “in the loop” not only to develop, customize, and train the systems; but also oversee, guide, and improve them.”

The government sector is also adopting cognitive technologies for the purpose of improved case management, transportation, and elections. For example, Hong Kong uses an algorithm to schedule and manage the nightly engineering work of the country’s subway system. The state of Georgia implemented an automated handwriting recognitsystem with crowdsourced human assistance to digitize financial disclosure and campaign contribution form.

“Those government organizations who adopt cognitive technology are grasping the opportunity to get a better understanding of their citizens needs, to better understand how public services are consumed, and as a result will produce better outcomes at lower cost,” said IBM VP and Partner Ian Baker, who leads the Global Government Center of Competency. “Cognitive technologies will enable governments to combine both proprietary and public data, both structured and unstructured, and understand in real time the effects and impact of policy implementations.”

Cognitive technologies (and computing) will enable governments to make better decisions and solve problems that they couldn’t solve before. Alan Turing once said: "Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.” Cognitive technologies take me by surprise with great frequency, for they can and will effect and transform every single industry, including global governments.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this piece are not official IBM opinions.