Last week, I was attending the 20th Annual Conference of the Digital Government Society (dg.o 2019) in Dubai, hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government. This year the conference theme was “Governance in the Age of Artificial Intelligence“. As the organization of this society highlights, “the dg.o conferences are an established forum for presentation, discussion, and demonstration of interdisciplinary research on digital government, political participation, civic engagement, technology innovation, applications, and practice. Each year the conference brings together scholars recognized for the interdisciplinary and innovative nature of their work, their contributions to theory (rigor) and practice (relevance), their focus on important and timely topics and the quality of their writing.”
This year, I was honoured to be part of the programme committee and present different papers and posters. In particular, we have been working on a paper about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) regarding the policy cycle process with David Valle-Cruz, Edgar A. Ruvalcaba-Gomez y Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazán: “A review of Artificial Intelligence in Government and Its Potential from a Public Policy Perspective“. Here, we discuss the potential benefits of AI in different public policy areas, including public health, climate change, public management reform, disaster prevention and response, etc., but also, in different functions of government, (i.e. decision-making, government-citizen interaction, personalization of services, interoperability, data analysis, pattern recogniztion) and discovering new solutions through dynamic models and simulation in real time.
Digital government will be based on algortihmic governance and artificial intelligence in the future. We will move forward to learn about the implications of this new wave of technological innovation in governments and public administrations around the world. Obviously, this will imply working between hyper-positivists and pessimistics, looking for the real impacts, using social sciences theorical and analytical frameworks and with the responsability of raising concerns about data privacy, ethics, and equity in the goverance of our societies and public sector organizations. We will come to this space with our future advancements in this promising, and intriguing, area of research. All your comments will be very welcome.