Governments can use AI to guide their citizens and policy. But are we ready for how far it can go?
Governments have access to large amounts of data that they can – and often do – use to analyze and predict the behavior of their citizens using artificial intelligence (AI) strategies.
but While AI can help policy makers By providing high-accuracy forecasts, identifying trends and patterns, forecasting complex correlations and improving profitability, it may also lead to risks to citizen privacy and security and Threatening the freedom of decision-making in society.
Researchers from three universities in Spain Explore these risks in a study Which polled government officials about their organization’s use of artificial intelligence. A council member said artificial intelligence helped his town predict outcomes to help make better decisions during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. “Artificial intelligence has been used to predict potential infections and deaths with statistical models. These models have helped us improve health care and the movement of people in cities when lockdowns were necessary.” However, the same official also noted that: “The use of applications to track the location of user devices, although always anonymous, has highlighted the need to regulate the use of both AI and other similar technologies.”
Another Spanish politician interviewed said: “We use AI to predict potential criminal actions in a city. When AI and our analytics tell us that there is a neighborhood where serious crimes, such as murder, can be committed, we increase the number of police patrols in those neighborhoods.”
at recent days The explosive growth in the use of artificial intelligence It marked the emergence of a new field of behavioral data science, which combines techniques from behavioral sciences, psychology, sociology, economics, and business, and uses processes from computer science, data-focused engineering, statistical models, information science, and/or mathematics to understand and predict human behavior using artificial intelligence.
While this predictive power can be deployed to better design and implement policy, the senior advisor noted, privacy concerns are growing. As more data is obtained from citizens, predictions may soon reach efficacy levels similar to those of observations, increasing Concerns about state surveillance. Governments are that kind of smart It can risk violating privacy and impeding free decision-making in society.
The illegal use of this technology could be applied to modify the behavior of citizensincluding the effect on election results. For example, the behavioral data of Facebook users in the United States was analyzed using behavioral prediction algorithms developed by him Cambridge AnalyticaAnd the Works to modify election results In the 2016 US presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
There are still many questions about the risks to citizens’ privacy from government use of artificial intelligence and behavioral data science. These include: the ethics of collecting and analyzing data that citizens unintentionally produce; How should the outputs obtained by the government from this data analysis be explained to the citizens; and whether (and in what ways) such an analysis might violate people’s privacy.
Governments can better achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal Effective, accountable and responsive organizations If they use artificial intelligence to improve services provided to citizens and society, and adopt ethical principles and values to ensure the privacy of citizens. Solutions can include Develop legislation related to artificial intelligence and behavioral data science To reduce and avoid potential unethical uses Illegal or illegal use of this technology. Effective government practices and policies will help citizens increase confidence in the use of artificial intelligence, behavioral data science, and comprehensive analysis of collective behavior and intelligence in today’s global culture where the Internet is the primary tool for communication, data, and decisions based on behavioral analysis. It has become a necessity for public actorsHowever, with legislation often one step behind technology, many societies are currently unprepared for this inevitable future.
Jose Ramon Seura Associate Professor of Digital Marketing, Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain. His research explores theoretical and practical insights into digital marketing and user-generated content (UGC), with a focus on data mining, knowledge discovery, and information science. He has worked with a wide range of companies including Google, Deloitte, L’Oréal, Telefónica or MRM/McCann. Declares no conflict of interest.