IGF 2021 Day 0 Event #112 Digitalisation through the use of artificial intelligence in public administration

Time
Monday, 6th December, 2021 (15:30 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (16:30 UTC)
Room
Hall A2

Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Poland (UOKIK):

Martyna Derszniak-Noirjean - Government, Director of International Cooperation Office, Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK), Eastern European States;

Piotr Adamczewski - Government - Director of Branch Office in Bydgoszcz, Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK), Eastern European States;

Jacek Marczak - Government - Deputy Director of Branch Office in Bydgoszcz, Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK), Eastern European States;

Natasza Skrzek - Government, Chief Expert, International Cooperation Office, Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK), Eastern European States.

Speakers

Speakers:

- Tomasz Chróstny - Government - President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK) - confirmed,

- Antoni Rytel - Government - Deputy Director for GovTech, GovTech Poland - confirmed,

- Kate Brand - Government - Director of Data Science, Data, Technology, and Analytics (DaTA) Unit, Competition and Markets Authority, United Kingdom - confirmed,

- Dr. Urs Gasser - Academia - Dean and Professor of Public Policy, Governance, and Innovative Technology, TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology, Technical University of Munich (MUC) - confirmed,

- Grzegorz Łubkowski - Business - Client Partner Executive, Kyndryl (former IBM Global Technical Services) - confirmed.

Onsite Moderator

Daniel Rząsa - Editor-in-Chief of 300Gospodarka

Online Moderator

Piotr Adamczewski - Government - Director of Branch Office in Bydgoszcz, Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK)

Format

We plan to organise a Round Table (Circle) - 60 minutes within the hybrid format in order to facilitate participation to both speakers and participants present both online and onsite. The Round Table will have a defined structure and parts according to the goals of this format. We will put speakers in conversation with one another after a moderator introduces subject matter experts at the table. We are aware that the discussion has to take place with equal weight and equal opportunities.

Description

Recent years have been characterised by the acceleration of digital transformation, as evidenced by advances in artificial intelligence. AI is used in many aspects of our lives, including in public administration. In order to better understand this use of AI, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK) invited a wide range of panelists to the discussion: representatives of Polish and foreign public administration, academia and business who will present their views on AI, its strengths and challenges in the use of algorithms by public institutions. UOKIK will start the discussion by sharing its experience in introducing AI-powered solutions to better protect customers from unfair contract terms used by companies operating online. The practical aspects of this process will be discussed, from a starting phase, a learning phase, naming actions and processes to verifying available databases and preparing data for the AI-powered tool. Then, aspects of the dialogue with business and academia will be mentioned, as well as the key stage of preparing and carrying out a public procurement procedure, cooperation with the contractor and the learning period of the AI tool by employees after its delivery. Then, by giving the floor to other public institutions (represented by the Polish, British and Dutch administrations), we hope to gain interesting insights into working with AI in Poland and abroad. The debate will be complemented by the participation of business and academia representatives. Such a diversity of speakers will allow for a fruitful debate on the effectiveness and efficiency of carrying out the digitisation process of the office through the use of new artificial intelligence technologies, while safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the public. Establishing an appropriate ethical and legal framework is crucial to ensure respect for fundamental principles and values in dealing with new technologies.

The format of a Round Table (Circle) will be designed to facilitate online access for participants. The onsite moderator will introduce the experts and explain the topic of discussion before engaging all speakers in a roundtable conversation. The roundtable format will encourage dialogue and collaboration among participants by marking equality in the validity of their positions. To get to know the participants, the moderator will appropriately profile questions to the panelists based on their competencies.

We will provide two moderators who will jointly facilitate the discussion. One of them will be present physically while the other one will be online in order to create a sense of representation to both groups of participants and to facilitate the later discussion. The online moderator will also manage the chat. In our opinion, the dual-moderator approach will ensure that the audience is being actively challenged to follow the speakers, share their reflections and ask questions. Not forgetting the online devices, we shall use other online tools such as blackboard and voting app. This will ensure that even more passive participants are stimulated to actively participate. Moreover, polls on zoom or metimeter are also a good way of stimulating involvement from an online audience. Menti can be used on phones so could also be on a phone so participants physically in the room can also participate. AI is a topical and highly emotive issue that will undoubtedly attract public attention, especially when discussing a practical tool. The discussion will be geared towards addressing the above-mentioned questions and providing answers based on the discussion and interaction with online and offline participants.

The representative of UOKIK will present his own experience with AI as an opportunity and a challenge, on the basis of which the moderated discussion will start. Based on a pre-agreed number of questions to be discussed during the panel, the moderator will direct the discussions accordingly so that each perspective is adequately represented including the ongoing inclusion of questions from the audience. The discussion will be interspersed with scheduled questions and questions from the audience. The aim of the interactive roundtable discussion with the audience will be to formulate the most concrete possible answers to the questions posed.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The key takeaway of the session revolved around human resources. This includes building an institution's internal capacity in the area of AI on the one hand and building flexible and effective relationships with the private contractors on the other. The shared experience of public institutions from various countries was that it's difficult for them to compete with private companies for talent.

Another takeaway was that public bodies need to become more flexible in order to facilitate their cooperation with non-public institutions and companies. The case of a recent tender by the UOKiK with the participation of GovTech Poland served as an example.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Involving academics in the process of knowledge building and information sharing is important for public institutions to make better use of and formulate deeper understanding of how AI can support their work.

Session Report (* deadline 16 December) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

 

Report on the IGF pre event session “Digitalization through the use of artificial intelligence in public administration” held on December 6th, 2021, in Katowice

Speakers:

Tomasz Chróstny - Government - President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK)

Antoni Rytel - Government - Deputy Director for GovTech, GovTech Poland

Kate Brand - Government - Director of Data Science, Data, Technology, and Analytics (DaTA) Unit, Competition and Markets Authority, United Kingdom

Dr. Urs Gasser - Academia - Dean and Professor of Public Policy, Governance, and Innovative Technology, TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology, Technical University of Munich (MUC)

Grzegorz Łubkowski - Business - Client Partner Executive, Kyndryl (former IBM Global Technical Services)

Moderators:

Daniel Rząsa - Journalism - Editor-in-Chief, 300Gospodarka

Piotr Adamczewski - Government - Director of Branch Office in Bydgoszcz, Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK)

A summary of the main takeaways of the session:

The moderator introduced the experts and explained the topic of discussion before engaging all the speakers in a roundtable conversation. 

UOKIK started the discussion by sharing its experience in introducing AI-based software in public administration, notably the current AI tool is developing. The aim of this software is to provide better protection against online consumer infringements such as unfair contract terms. Consumer protection is a huge challenge in regards to fast developing e-commerce and big tech, which has the ability to enter new markets and use big data, not always with pure intents. It was noted that public administrations are at a disadvantage in the area of big tech, due to administrative use of more traditional methods. Public administrations, by default, are more focused on law than on analyzing algorithms. This is why AI development is important in this area, as it will allow similar institutions to develop their competencies, and thus improve their consumer protection. Such tools would permit the learning of different agreements and contracts that are not yet registered, and allow them to be flagged, even before a consumer brings them to the authority’s attention. It is an innovative approach with the usage of AI in public administration.

The debate was complemented by the other public representatives, both from Poland and abroad. One of the speakers noted that AI in public administration is not just a question of what we need. It is important to look more broadly and recognize that when engaging with the private sector, public administrations need to take into account the differences between the two sectors. The key is to find a way to engage the companies (SMEs, innovative startups) in a manner that is competitive yet friendly for them. At this point, the key remark came from the business and reflected on well-organized and innovative public procurement used by the UOKIK in order to introduce AI-based software.

The conversation then encouraged representatives of other public sector administrations to present their views and experiences in this area. The speaker from the UK explained how in their institution there is a focus on understanding how businesses use algorithms and how certain ones could harm consumers. It was also explained that they have a department responsible for digital and technological aspects, and the work they do is mostly in house. This carries certain advantages such as having people that understand the deeper context behind a project. They can also integrate new software with tools that already exist (develop what is currently available) and provide ongoing advice.

The speakers from academia and business then moved on to discuss the key stage of preparing and carrying out public procurement procedures.

There were three elements highlighted as important areas for consideration. First of all, it was explained that the systematic approach with the strong strategy allows for conversation and reflection on how AI should be incorporated. Secondly, implementation was identified as the biggest challenge while using AI (finding high quality data sets, technical issues, human level). The last point that was discussed concerned the law of unintended consequences. The equilibrium or the ecosystem in which the organization operates is crucial.

The abovementioned discussion led to the following suggestions. It is necessary to build an institution's internal capacity in the area of AI on the one hand and to build flexible and effective relationships with the private contractors on the other. Furthermore, the shared experience of public institutions from various countries and academia play an important role in order to make better use of AI and formulate deeper understanding of how AI can support work in public administration.