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What AI means for the future of government jobs

Are the robots coming for government jobs?

According to Bill Eggers, the answer is yes -- sort of.

Eggers, who runs Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights, said at a Nov. 29 FCW event on government modernization that 20 to 30 percent of all work activities will soon be “automatable” thanks to rapid advances in artificial intelligence. He pointed to a Deloitte study of the federal workforce that found 4.3 billion hours are spent each year on a wide range of task and activities.

A huge share of those hours is devoted to essentially moving paper, he said, while relatively little time goes to “coaching … and other sorts of human activities.” But the study also found that “four out of five of the most labor-intensive activities have either a medium or high automation potential,” Eggers said.

That could allow for reductions in certain parts of the workforce, he noted, but it also frees up time for critical higher-value work -- and the chance to deliver better service by giving the human workforce AI-powered support. Studies have repeatedly shown, Eggers said, that “it’s the human-machine pairing that gives the best results,” he said.

The full video of Eggers’ half-hour talk -- which explores the larger implications for government as AI becomes “the new electricity” -- is available below.

 

Note: This "dual-screen" video recording is best viewed when expanded to the full browser window.

For more information on the Nov. 29 event, please click here. For additional coverage of machine learning, robotic process automation and other aspects of AI, check out GCN's AI & Automation portal.

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