If artificial intelligence still arouses often exaggerated fears, it is experiencing spectacular technological advances, making it possible to assist humans in tasks that were impossible to perform until now. In support of administrations, its use could concretely improve the quality of the public service provided to citizens. At the request of the Prime Minister, the Council of State is today publishing a study which pleads for the conduct of a resolutely ambitious AI strategy and at the service of public performance. A strategy which, as recommended by the Council of State, should create the conditions for trust and provide France with the resources and governance to match its ambitions.
Recent advances in the field of artificial intelligence have led to spectacular achievements (recognition of people on images, automatic creation of content, semantic analysis, etc.) and at the same time exacerbated greatly exaggerated fears (subjugation of the human by machine, manipulation of behavior, mass surveillance, etc.). However, artificial intelligence is, first and foremost, a set of digital tools at the service of humans. By enabling the rapid resolution of problems thanks to automatic learning, it offers a unique opportunity to improve the quality of public service.
Building a trusted public artificial intelligence
AI is still only being deployed very gradually in public services and often on an experimental basis. It is used, for example, in traffic management, defense and security, the fight against fraud or employment policies. But by resolutely committing to artificial intelligence, its possible benefits on the quality of public service would be numerous: improvement of the continuity of public service 24 hours a day, the relevance of the decisions and services delivered or equal treatment. , reduction in the time taken to examine user requests, etc.
Artificial intelligence should make it possible to strengthen the human relationship between the citizen and the public official by freeing up time thanks to the automation of certain tasks (acknowledgments of receipt, request for additional documents, etc.) and to improve the quality of service through the accomplishment of tasks hitherto materially impossible.
This is why the Council of State is calling for the implementation of a resolutely proactive artificial intelligence deployment policy, serving the general interest and public performance.
France must anticipate the establishment of a regulatory framework, particularly at European level, through the implementation, as of today, of pragmatic guidelines allowing the deployment of artificial intelligence in public services in stages, lucid and vigilant, closer to the needs of the French. A trusted public artificial intelligence based on seven principles: human primacy, performance, fairness and non-discrimination, transparency, safety (cybersecurity), environmental sustainability and strategic autonomy.
Provide France with appropriate resources and governance
To conduct this public artificial intelligence strategy, France must have the appropriate human and technical resources. One of its priorities must be to train public leaders, recruit data experts and also acquire the necessary technical resources. A relaxation of the legal framework, in particular data sharing within administrations, should also be examined.
Strengthening Etalab* and the national coordinator for artificial intelligence, in connection with the intervention of the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion, would also make it possible to make the State a possible service provider and source of resources , including human, for local authorities.
Finally, the study recommends a profound transformation of the CNIL into a national supervisory authority responsible for the regulation of AI systems, in particular public ones, to embody and internalize the dual challenge of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, on the one hand, and innovation and public performance, on the other hand.
*Etalab is a department of the interministerial digital directorate (DINUM), which coordinates the design and implementation of the State’s strategy in the field of data.
To download :
– the study: Artificial intelligence and public action: building trust, serving performance
– the press release