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Can Generative AI be the new Policymaker?

The pertinent question is not whether "if" we should integrate generative AI into public policy frameworks, but "how."

John Kingdon in 1984, while formulating the Multiple Systems Frameworks had argued that different solutions are present for policy issues. Today, with the coming of Generative AI, can he be challenged that the majority of the policy issues today can be worked upon with the help of this new technology? At the same time the idea of an “unclear technology” does exist when a novel approach is proposed, there may be a lack of evidence regarding its effectiveness. Additionally, as various institutions and individuals participate in the decision-making process, new ideas or obstacles may emerge, contributing to the fluidity of the process.

In today’s day and age policymakers are struggling with complex challenges where different approaches to problems can be time taking, expensive and above all will need a lot of resources to implement. 

Some very common challenges can be:

1- Data Analysis and Decision Support: With the heaps of data available today, it is quite impossible to search, analyze and then select a particular course of action. Like Herbert Simon in his Rational Model Framework suggests that these are the steps to take for a policy formulation. In today’s digital era, the Simon model has sparked a trend towards data-driven decision-making, which is increasingly becoming prevalent.

2- Chain Effect: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The same goes with policymaking. You will never know which decisions or policies implemented in one area can trigger a series of subsequent changes or reactions in related areas, much like a row of falling dominoes. This phenomenon underscores the interconnectedness of policy decisions and their potential to produce cascading effects across different sectors, communities, or even countries.

3- How do you see the unseen?: The challenge of forecasting and planning the long-term consequences of decisions in policy making is a complex and multifaceted issue. While short-term goals can be clearly defined and results clearly visible, the long-term results of programs often remain unclear until years later. This inherent uncertainty in planning requires a proactive approach that includes foresight and flexibility.

Since Generative AI has come into the picture, we can think of a larger picture to deal with such challenges that not only solves them but also gives a better way to deal with them.  Generative AI can significantly enhance the process of predicting and planning for long-term goals in policymaking through various innovative approaches and methodologies. By leveraging the capabilities of GenAI, policymakers can address the inherent challenges of foreseeing the long-term impacts of their decisions. 

Advanced Policy Simulation for Future-Proofing

GenAI equips policymakers with the capability to simulate and forecast the effects of coverage decisions with extraordinary accuracy. This capability acts as a virtual time system, imparting insights into the lengthy-term results of policies on societal and economic landscapes.

In Singapore, GenAI models like Vertex are applied to simulate urban development plans, assessing their effect on site visitors with the flow, populace density, and environmental sustainability years into the future. This allows in crafting urban rules that are resilient and sustainable.

Uncovering Hidden Risks with Predictive Analysis

GenAI serves as an early warning machine, figuring out ability pitfalls and accidental results of policy choices earlier than they take place. This predictive functionality guarantees that guidelines are robust and complete.

New Jersey has committed to educating every public-sector professional on AI, which includes training on using GenAI to draft better memos and translate complex government language into plain English, thereby improving communication and preempting misunderstandings

Empowering Data-Driven Governance

GenAI transforms policymaking from an art into a technological know-how. By analyzing huge datasets, it gives empirical evidence to guide selections, making sure that guidelines are grounded in truth and optimized for effectiveness.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford created EVEscape, an AI tool with a generative model. It uses evolutionary and biological data to forecast virus mutations, aiding in vaccine and therapy development for SARS-CoV-2 and other fast-evolving viruses. EVEscape accurately predicted significant new variants, proving its effectiveness.

Revolutionizing Public Service Delivery

GenAI is redefining how public offerings are introduced, making them greater efficient, accessible, and consumer-pleasant. By automating and optimizing provider shipping, governments can better meet the desires in their citizens.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, led by Gov. Yuriko Koike, implemented ChatGPT for clerical tasks in August 2023. Tasks such as document preparation and seeking employee input for practical uses of the AI tool will be among its applications. Koike sees it as transformative for public administration. Yokosuka Prefecture’s trial showed improved efficiency, potentially saving 10 minutes daily.

Bolstering Cybersecurity Measures

In an era of growing cyber threats, GenAI strengthens cybersecurity defenses by means of reading styles to discover and neutralize threats proactively, safeguarding sensitive statistics and critical infrastructure. 

CrowdStrike has developed CrowdStrike Charlotte AI, an innovative application of generative AI in cybersecurity, designed to simplify security operations for users at all levels of expertise. Charlotte AI, which can understand queries in multiple languages, integrates with the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform to provide users with clear, intuitive answers. This generative AI security analyst offers real-time insights into an organization’s security posture, effectively acting as an intelligent extension of the cybersecurity team. It is specifically built for security analysts, incorporating features like sensitive data redaction for privacy, auditability to prevent AI errors, and role-based access control for data security. 

Promoting Sustainable Resource Management

GenAI aids in the sustainable control of natural sources with the aid of optimizing utilization and lowering waste, contributing to environmental conservation and sustainability desires.

The U.S. generates an average of 25 billion pounds of textiles per year, with 85% ending up in landfills. GenAI could significantly alter this by finding innovative ways to recycle or repurpose textile materials. If a material becomes structurally inadequate for a specific application due to wear and tear, AI could potentially identify alternative applications where the impact of wear is less significant.

Given the critical role of public policy in shaping the operational and ethical boundaries within various domains, the pertinent question is not whether “if” we should integrate generative AI into public policy frameworks, but “how.” This shift in discourse underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to embedding generative AI within public policy-making processes. It challenges us to devise innovative strategies that leverage AI’s potential to enhance policy efficiency, transparency, and responsiveness, while diligently mitigating risks and safeguarding ethical standards. Thus, the conversation must evolve to focus on developing robust methodologies and governance models that facilitate the seamless integration of generative AI into the fabric of public policy, ensuring that it serves as a catalyst for informed decision-making and societal advancement.

Picture of Anshika Mathews
Anshika Mathews
Anshika is an Associate Research Analyst working for the AIM Leaders Council. She holds a keen interest in technology and related policy-making and its impact on society. She can be reached at anshika.mathews@aimresearch.co
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