The Swedish parliament has decided that Sweden should be the best in the world at using the possibilities of digitization. In the digital journey of change that the whole society is now undergoing, artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative technologies. We consider this to be an opportunity that deserves special focus.
Welfare's challenges pose eligibility requirements for radical innovation in terms of the design of future public services and how they are produced. Used in the right way, digitization offers opportunities to create an efficient and innovative welfare system that meets the needs of citizens.
Digitization in welfare has been going on for decades, where AI is a new technological element. New technology creates additional needs for competence and abilities in welfare organizations. Expectations for the public sector to be able to deliver even better and more efficient welfare, with the societal challenges that Sweden faces, are high.
DIGG has calculated that a complete introduction of today's AI technology in public administration could mean a financial benefit for society of SEK 140 billion annually.The municipalities are responsible for most of the welfare, but civil society is also an important player in the work to develop it. The possibility of new values, increased quality and efficiency for better welfare and social benefit with the help of AI can be found in all areas related to municipal activities: from care, care and school to public transport, administration and urban planning.
Civil society organizations also have great opportunities to take on new challenges with the help of AI and conduct more efficient and (legally) secure activities. They have good opportunities to become a trusted and innovative player in the collection and use of data based on, at their core, high trust capital among citizens. The issue of AI is brought up to date within civil society, among other things, through sector-wide strategy work in the years 20/21. (NEW).
One of their conclusions is that:
Civil society has good opportunities to develop and create great value for themselves and for all residents of Sweden by using AI and the possibilities of digitization.
Based on the needs and opportunities described above, it is central that municipalities and civil society organizations strengthen their capacity and ability for innovation and insightful priorities in the AI area. It is only when the whole of Sweden can advance its positions in digital development that the whole of society can take part in the greatest benefits.
Both DIGG, Statistiska centralbyrån and SKR note that there are several challenges to realizing the benefits of AI. In order to successfully drive development forward, everything from knowledge support and change management to technical resources is needed. There is also a need for more widespread collaboration and more of a common direction where important questions and needs related to AI can be solved jointly.
Based on the above, Vinnova has decided to implement a multi-year effort with the goal of stimulating and strengthening the capacity and ability of municipalities and civil society to take advantage of the opportunities with artificial intelligence. We call it Gathering Power for AI in municipalities and civil society and it is carried out in collaboration with AI Sweden.
The force collection is a complement to other efforts by the government and other authorities aimed at the public sector and civil society and takes place in collaboration with DIGG (The Agency for Digital Administration), MUFC (The Agency for Youth and Civil Society Affairs) and SKR (Sveriges Kommuner and Regions).