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Estonia’s AI Govstack to help other countries digitalize, offer virtual admin assistant

Estonia’s AI Govstack to help other countries digitalize, offer virtual admin assistant

Estonia has one of the most advanced digital identity schemes in the world, allowing its citizens to access government services and keep tabs on how their data is used. The Baltic state is developing artificial components on which digital services are based and making them available via its AI Govstack, reports Computer Weekly.

Estonia has a site collating all the government use cases for AI and ML, whether in the works or already in use, from tools to determine the probability of a person getting a job, analyzing calls to the Social Insurance Board through to a chatbot that can talk about Estonia in any known language.

Computer Weekly notes that 26 open-source building blocks for digital government are available to countries and companies, with more to come.

The country is also calling on data science, machine learning and language technology experts to answer a procurement call worth €5 million (US$5 million) to “build the next generation AI-led country in Estonia together,” according to the E-Estonia site. The framework will be developed over three years to 2025.

Participants will have the chance to work with Bürokratt, the country’s AI virtual assistant and there is a clear emphasis on privacy enhancing technologies. Bürokratt works via voice activation and is proactive, contacting individuals ahead of them needing to perform an admin task.

“Having already built a highly successful foundation through our AI strategy and with Bürokratt we’re keen to raise and improve the AI service offering even more, so we can continue to provide our citizens and companies with the very best government services,” writes Ott Velsberg, Estonia’s government chief data officer.

“This initiative allows to build the next stage of data-driven e-Estonia more efficiently together with you!”

The site states under its Cooperation Principles for working on government AI that the virtual assistant is a public/private hybrid: “Bürokratt is the vision of how digital public services should work in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). Bürokratt is thus an interoperable network of public and private sector AI solutions, which from the user’s point of view, act as a single channel for public services and information.”

There are plans for Bürokratt to be implemented across ten government departments by the end of the year, according to Computer Weekly. Estonia is working to make it available to other EU countries.

The government is considering developing databases to build data on its citizens that would not be identifiable, but would help in the delivery of services via AI.

Estonia is helping Mongolia build digital government capabilities and has finally named SK ID as the provider for its Mobile-ID digital identity application following a tough procurement process.

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