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Consider the convenience of accessing government information or assistance around the clock. This possibility occurs through the utilization of AI tools such as Generative AI service desks, ChatGPT-like AI chatbots, and virtual assistants.

GenAI transcends mere industry jargon; it represents a valuable asset for government agencies, introducing novel approaches to operations and citizen engagement. Through the adoption of generative AI, governments can not only streamline digital services and enhance accessibility but also bolster organizational efficiency, thereby enriching the citizen experience.

Establishing transparency and fostering knowledge-sharing with residents lays the foundation for effective integration of generative AI into governmental processes. It is imperative to comprehend residents' interactions with government services and AI, thereby facilitating informed decision-making and enhancing service delivery.

In 2024, governments will embark on a journey of exploring innovative avenues for resident engagement. During this period, we could witness more initiatives that the public sector will undertake towards the utilization of generative AI.

Why It Matters?

As the tech landscape rapidly evolves, there's a growing expectation among citizens for instant, personalized, and efficient government services. Poor citizen engagement and communication can significantly hinder government efficiency and governance quality. When citizens feel excluded or uninformed, trust in the government diminishes, leading to non-compliance with laws, increased discontent, and potentially, social unrest. Moreover, it could hamper the government's ability to address urgent issues by missing out on crucial public input. Therefore, enhancing citizen engagement and communication is crucial for transparent, accountable, and responsive governance.

Introducing generative AI into public services necessitates a strong focus on responsible AI controls, data readiness, and workforce upskilling. Early use cases highlight its potential to enhance government operations, prompting the need for a systematic approach to assess value and manage experimentation and deployment. Forward-thinking leaders are beginning to explore generative AI's capabilities to enhance and expand public services.

Digitally-Enabled Citizen Engagement

In a Deloitte Digital and Adobe survey, 65% of respondents expressed a desire to access government information and services via multiple channels, including web, email, chat, social media, broadcast, phone, and physical offices. This underscores the potential of generative AI to significantly enhance the citizen experience when integrated effectively.

The World Bank highlights that digitally enabled citizen engagement hinges on governments' ability to collect, process, analyze, and respond to vast amounts of citizen feedback. Without the capacity to handle this data alongside real-world phenomena, governments cannot fully leverage citizen input for decision-making. Yet, emerging technologies such as large language models (LLMs) have the potential to close this divide by assimilating feedback, cross-referencing it with social media and online news data, and extracting valuable insights. This aggregation enables LLMs to offer concise summaries of key citizen concerns.

The Impact of GenAI on Citizen Experience

Here are some key benefits of generative AI (GenAI) for citizens:

  • Personalized Services: Generative AI (GenAI) utilizes citizen data to tailor services which are specific to a person’s lifestyle choices, individual preference, and even medical background.
  • Smart Cities: GenAI facilitates data-driven decision-making in smart city initiatives, such as optimizing traffic management and energy usage to elevate urban living standards.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP-driven GenAI enhances citizen-government interactions through efficient chatbots and virtual assistants, enhancing convenience.
  • Predictive Analytics: GenAI empowers the creation of predictive models to anticipate citizens’ needs, aiding in proactive public safety measures by identifying high-risk areas.
  • Policy Development: GenAI assists policymakers in analyzing intricate datasets for evidence-based decision-making that aligns with citizen demands and societal shifts.
  • Civic Engagement: GenAI promotes citizen involvement in decision-making processes through online forums, crowd-sourced initiatives, and problem-solving
  • Accessibility and Inclusion: GenAI bolsters accessibility for citizens with disabilities, offering features like speech recognition and natural language interfaces, which, in turn, ensures inclusivity.
  • Creative Expression: GenAI enhances various mediums such as art, music, literature, and multimedia, enriching cultural diversity and fostering citizen engagement.

A Generative AI Pioneer: UAE

The forecasted growth of generative AI (Gen AI) in the Middle East, as projected by consulting firm, Strategy&, suggests a potential annual revenue of nearly USD 24 billion by 2030. This growth is anticipated to have a significant impact, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where combined annual growth could reach USD 17.5 billion. Other GCC countries are also expected to experience substantial economic benefits, with estimated gains of USD 2.6 billion in Qatar, USD 1.6 billion in Kuwait, USD 1.3 billion in Oman, and USD 0.6 billion in Bahrain.

The UAE— positioning itself as a leader in the field— has already made significant strides, exemplified by partnerships with entities like OpenAI and the introduction of advanced LLMs such as Falcon and Jais. The launch of initiatives like the 'Generative AI' guide and the AI-powered chatbot ‘U-Ask’ further underscores the country's commitment to advancing AI adoption and enhancing citizen-government interactions.

Moreover, the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) unveiled the Dubai Generative AI Alliance, aiming to accelerate the integration of cutting-edge technologies and establish Dubai as a global hub for emerging technologies. Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of DFF, emphasized the potential of AI at the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI event, envisioning groundbreaking innovations through the fusion of generative AI with robotics and quantum computing.

In November 2023, the Ministry of Finance in the UAE successfully revamped critical government services through an accelerator program, aligning with the Government Services Development Guide 2.0, in which the government's commitment to digitalization was reflected. The integration of AI in service delivery has enhanced efficiency and user experience, exemplifying the country's dedication to providing high-quality government services.

Looking ahead, Dubai aims to strengthen its position in the global AI landscape with initiatives like the ‘Global Prompt Engineering Championship,’ dedicated to harnessing the power of generative AI across literature, art, and coding. This championship not only seeks to foster talent and entrepreneurship but also positions Dubai and the UAE as leading innovators in prompt engineering. Scheduled for May 2024, this visionary initiative underlines Dubai's commitment to leveraging AI for transformative impact and sustainable growth.

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