Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Technology and the state

Posted by hkarner - 24. März 2018

Date: 23-03-2018
Source: The Economist

The apps that put public services in citizens’ pockets
Digital innovations are making government cheaper and more effective

IF LANDING in soggy Britain after a holiday in the sun is not enough to sap the soul, spending an hour queuing at border control does the trick. Eyn, a British startup, hopes to speed things up with a phone app. Passengers use the app to take a picture of their passport, then scan the chip which contains their facial biometrics. Finally, they take a selfie, to ensure the two faces align. Tapping their phone on electronic gates at the airport is then all that’s required. Eyn reckons such gates might not even be needed, if sensors prove capable of reading passengers’ faces instead. The firm is in talks to test its technology at the border.
Govtech, or digital technology to improve public services, is a relatively new field in which Britain is busy. The amount of venture capital invested in govtech projects in Britain is on a par with that in the rest of Europe combined, according to PwC, a consultancy. Investment in the industry could grow from £6.6bn ($9.2bn) last year to £20bn by 2025, believes Public, which finances govtech startups, including Eyn.

Calipsa, another startup on Public’s books, is developing artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor CCTV. Humans struggle to monitor multiple screens at once, with the result that much CCTV goes unwatched. Using AI to spot potential infractions or suspicious behaviour, such as cars in bus lanes or people doing dodgy deals in dark alleys, frees human operators to focus on clips that have already been flagged. It could also cut costs. Calipsa reckons its software could reduce government spending on traffic surveys, for example, by 80%.

Nesta offers an incubation programme connecting startups to government departments. It is working with London councils on a pilot that uses machine learning to pinpoint landlords who are letting property without a licence. Nesta is also involved in a project to develop the use of drone technology in five cities. It says drones could help police to monitor crowds, or even deliver emergency medicine. Drones are already used by fire brigades; some helped to survey for damage at Grenfell Tower after the calamitous fire last year.

Opaque procurement processes have made it hard for startups to win government contracts. The Cabinet Office is working on a service to put startups in touch with civil servants. The government has set up a £20m fund for startups interested in public-sector innovation. Later this year a team in the Government Digital Service will begin work to identify services that could benefit from technology. Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, is offering a £20,000 prize and three-month pilot to startups with ideas for how to improve housing, employment and other areas. The test will be whether such pilots take off.

Kommentar verfassen

Bitte logge dich mit einer dieser Methoden ein, um deinen Kommentar zu veröffentlichen:

WordPress.com-Logo

Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Google Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Twitter-Bild

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Facebook-Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d Bloggern gefällt das: