Practitioners' Perspectives on Inclusion and Civic Empowerment in Finnish Public Sector AI

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Access rights
openAccess
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Conference article in proceedings
Date
2023-05-29
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
11
108-118
Series
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - Humanization of Digital Technologies 2023, C&T 2023
Abstract
Algorithmic decision-making and big data systems are increasingly being used to provide innovative and essential services in the public sector. Such public services that utilize AI entail many related risks and responsibilities for citizens and public sector providers. Furthermore, the distinct regulatory demands and responsibilities of public sector services require crucial consideration of inclusiveness and civic empowerment. In this empirical study, we examine practitioners' attitudes, practices and challenges of implementing inclusive AI services in the public sector that can empower greater civic agency. We conducted in-depth interviews with ten practitioners responsible for managing, developing or designing AI-enabled public services across three big public organizations in Finland in domains relating to the municipality, taxes, and social insurance. The results show that the discussion on inclusion and civic empowerment is just in its beginning in the public sector. Practitioners perceive the concept of inclusion as devising accessible public services for all members of society. Civic empowerment was understood as 1) institutional transparency, 2) civic participation in shaping the services, and 3) easing the use of the services for their users. The research suggests two distinct socio-cultural constructs emerging among practitioners that may influence (or hinder) how civic empowerment is manifested in such services: expert cultures and risk-averse cultures. The contributions of the study are twofold. First, we describe the practitioners' perspectives on empowerment and inclusion in regard to public sector AI. Further, we recognize how expert and risk-averse cultures among practitioners explain their actions and restraints in devising public sector AI services.
Description
Funding Information: This work is undertaken as part of the research project Civic Agency in AI? Democratizing Algorithmic Services in the City (CAAI) in the Critical AI and Crisis Interrogatives (CRAI-CIS) research group in the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University. The project is supported in-part by a 4-year grant awarded by the Kone Foundation (2022-2025). Johanna Ylipulli would like to thank the Academy of Finland for their support for the project Digital Inequality in Smart Cities, DISC, (332143). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 Owner/Author.
Keywords
artificial intelligence, civic empowerment, inclusion, interview study, participation, public sector
Other note
Citation
Drobotowicz, K, Truong, N L, Ylipulli, J, Gonzalez Torres, A P & Sawhney, N 2023, Practitioners' Perspectives on Inclusion and Civic Empowerment in Finnish Public Sector AI . in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - Humanization of Digital Technologies 2023, C &T 2023 . ACM, pp. 108-118, International Conference on Communities and Technologies, Lahti, Finland, 29/05/2023 . https://doi.org/10.1145/3593743.3593765