Deployment of AI technologies must be guided by a robust framework

The local government sector knows the best ways to serve local communities and is best placed to integrate new technology to deliver wider benefits, says Cllr Shaun Davies.

Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded due to tools such as ChatGPT driving a global debate on regulation and how to balance risks and opportunities. In local government a similar debate is taking place and the ambition set out in the Government's national AI strategy cannot be achieved without our sector.

Earlier this month, I chaired the Local Government Association's (LGA) debate on the role of AI, bringing together councils, academia, industry and central government. Our panel painted a picture of cautious optimism, tempered by a clear recognition of the challenges ahead. We heard how one council is pioneering the use of AI – from drones for infrastructure inspections to inclusive tools for those with learning difficulties – demonstrating its potential to enhance public services and a reminder of the groundwork necessary for these technologies to be adopted widely and responsibly.


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