Flemish government makes increasing use of artificial intelligence
Will questions from Flemish MPs be answered using artificial intelligence (AI) in the future? The track has already been explored, according to the answer given to a written question by Vlaams Belang party leader Chris Janssens. The use of AI by the Flemish government is on the rise, with 51 projects underway and 53 other applications under investigation.
As in the rest of society, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is also on the rise within the Flemish government, according to data released at the request of opposition member Chris Janssens (Vlaams Belang, far-right). The Flemish government relies on several specialised firms, at home and abroad, and authorised its agency Digitaal Vlaanderen ('Digital Flanders') to coordinate the deployment of AI systems.
Certain applications of AI by the Flemish government are obvious, according to Janssen, for example in improving the efficiency of internal and external operations or policy preparation. In addition, the government wants to use AI more to combat fraud. This is the case, among other things, for fraud involving aid to businesses. The Flemish government is also researching the systematic use of AI in uncovering subsidy fraud.
"Proper parliamentary oversight is needed. We don't want AI to make decisions on behalf of the government, do we?"
Interestingly, the possibility of answering parliamentary questions using AI has also been investigated. For instance, Flemish government leader Jan Jambon acknowledges that there have been "exploratory discussions" about this. According to the minister-president, the presentations "have been noted", but concrete actions have not yet been taken. Minister Jo Brouns, for his part, does indicate that "a proof of concept" has been running for some time now".
"The fact that artificial intelligence is being used to improve the functioning of the Flemish government and policy seems like a good thing", responds questioner Chris Janssens. "On the other hand, I believe that decisions on the deployment of AI by the government should not only be made by the government itself. Given the ethical dilemmas involved, proper parliamentary oversight is needed", said the VB party leader. "For example, we don't want AI to make decisions on behalf of the government, do we?"
#FlandersNewsService | Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK