The Council of State wants to rhyme artificial intelligence and public action – Public service news

On August 30, 2022, the Council of State published a study entitled ” Artificial intelligence and public action: building trust, serving performance “, carried out at the request of the Prime Minister. Supreme administrative judge, the Council invites the public authorities to “engage in artificial intelligence for a better public service”.

If it is already employed in traffic management, defense and security, the fight against fraud – for the detection of undeclared swimming pools; to target tax audits or employment policies upstream, artificial intelligence (AI) is still only being deployed very gradually in public services and often on an experimental basis, regrets the Council of State. However, “by allowing, in particular, the rapid resolution of problems thanks to automatic learning, it offers a unique opportunity to improve the quality of public service”, he is convinced. According to him, its possible benefits on the quality of the public service are numerous: improvement of the continuity of the public service 24 hours a day, the relevance of the decisions and services delivered or the equality of treatment, reduction of the deadlines for examining requests users…

AI should thus make it possible to strengthen the human relationship between the citizen and the public official, by freeing up time thanks to the automation of certain tasks (acknowledgments of receipt, request for additional documents, etc.), and to improve the quality of service through the accomplishment of tasks hitherto materially impossible. This is why the Council of State pleads for “the implementation of a resolutely proactive policy of deployment of artificial intelligence, in the service of the general interest and public performance”.

Without waiting for the definition of a regulatory framework, particularly at European level, France should adopt, “as of today, pragmatic guidelines allowing the deployment of artificial intelligence in public services in stages, lucid and vigilant, at closer to the needs of the French. For the Council of State, a trusted public AI must be based on seven principles: human primacy, performance, fairness and non-discrimination, transparency, safety (cybersecurity), environmental sustainability and strategic autonomy.

To conduct this strategy of public artificial intelligence, France must have the appropriate human and technical resources, insists the Council of State. One of the priorities is to train public leaders, recruit data experts, but also to acquire the necessary technical resources. A relaxation of the legal framework, in particular data sharing within administrations, should also be examined, he adds.

Reinforcement of Etalab – department of the Interministerial Digital Directorate (DINUM) responsible for coordinating the design and implementation of the State strategy in the field of data – and of the national coordinator for artificial intelligence, in connection with the intervention of the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT), would also make it possible to make the State a possible service provider and provider of resources, including human resources, for local authorities, argues the Council of state. Finally, his study recommends a “profound transformation” of the Cnil into a national supervisory authority responsible for the regulation of AI systems, in particular public ones, “to embody and internalize the dual challenge of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, on the one hand, and innovation and public performance, on the other”.

Solidaires Public Finances does not share the Council of State’s enthusiasm for AI. First union of tax officials, he denounced, this Monday, September 5, 2022, the use of artificial intelligence to replace work in the field and contact with the public. According to its secretary general, Anne Guyot-Welke, the political will of the Government, “is artificial intelligence instead of a certain number of agents. For Solidaires Finances publiques, “if dematerialization and the Internet are useful additions to taxpayers, they should in no way replace counters”.

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The Council of State wants to rhyme artificial intelligence and public action – Public service news


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