Like the governments of other countries, the Hungarian public administration is constantly looking for new-generation technologies that have already been proven in other areas, which can facilitate both the operation of the state and the administration of citizens. These include solutions based on artificial intelligence, which are being developed under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior and which we have discussed with Károly Hajzer Deputy Secretary of State for Information Technology
Computerworld: Market analysts such as IDC and Gartner predict that in the years ahead, artificial intelligence applications are expected to emerge rapidly, even in sectors known to be conservative, such as the banking sector or government. What “certificates” must a new generation technology have before it can be adapted into public administration solutions?
Károly Hajzer: In the past, public administration was explicitly at the forefront of the use of new technologies. If we look back at where IT was first established in Hungary, we can see that – in addition to the research and university spheres – the state administration and the police were at the forefront. This advantage was lost by the administration when computers, game programs, and then the Internet and social media became widespread among the population. The movement of citizens in the online space today requires that the administration, which is considered to be conservative, also take action. The question is not whether to give up our proverbial conservatism, but whether we want to talk to a civic medium that has long surpassed the question-and-answer language used in public administration.
CW: Deloitte has addressed the use of artificial intelligence in government in several studies and laid down some ground rules or conditions. According to them, before the introduction of artificial intelligence, it is necessary to assess whether there is a ready-made, developed strategy; appropriate staff; whether the processes are known; the amount of data available; technology and platforms; finally, the ethical framework, i.e. transparency and security of personal data. In addition, all of this must be continuously fine-tuned on the fly. Do you agree with the wording of the consulting firm?
HK: Mostly yes, but some things need to be clarified . The state still has a significant amount of information and data, in the possession of which it can perform its task, so it is unnecessary to request it from the citizens again. From the point of view of data access, therefore, I would only examine the way of accessing them, the data contents that are provided for by laws and regulations, not if there is no change in them. Adequacy of data management and citizens’ rights concerns are less risky if we do not go beyond the data stored so far in accordance with the law, with high security
Another issue is how controlled, stable and sophisticated the processes are. There are indeed gaps in this. Electronicisation, especially administrative processes supported by artificial intelligence, provides an opportunity for public administrations to rethink existing but less systemic processes. However, this is not a problem, but rather an opportunity to eliminate possible duplications, to weed out unnecessary elements from the procedures.
I agree with the Deloitte experts that the details are correct. overall, however, I do not see difficulties here, but opportunities.
CW: Speaking of possibilities: the coronavirus epidemic has prompted financial institutions to introduce new customer identification solutions such as video banking. Is there a procedure in the Ministry of the Interior that has also been introduced since the pandemic?
HK: We have several such procedures, one of which is face-based identification. The administration operates according to well-defined, detailed legislation that guarantees the security of the citizen and the legitimacy of the state. The regulatory environment for public administrations has paved the way for the introduction of identification procedures that allow citizens to fully manage matters, even from their mobile phones, without their personal presence. However, this would remain a theoretical option without creating an appropriate environment.
As a result of the pandemic, we have moved from a theoretical option to a practical one. Citizens are reluctant to visit the offices anyway, and especially in the event of an epidemic, the agencies also want to save their human resources and limit the number of people who attend. Theoretical possibilities meet the need for practical implementation here.
CW: What are the Regulated Electronic Administration Services, SGEIs, during which citizens can encounter artificial intelligence?
HK: One of the most important is the face identification service, which is equivalent to a personal presence, a username-password-based solution that even goes beyond voice-based authentication. Unfortunately, the mandatory wearing of medical masks makes identification difficult, but when removed for a moment, facial recognition algorithms identify the person with complete accuracy.
With this solution and non-contact fingerprint readers, we want to significantly speed up border crossings. Both applications are based on artificial intelligence, which, in addition to establishing identity, is also able to control the behavior of those arriving at the border, ie the border guard does not have to check all entrants on the basis of his / her documents, because
Artificial intelligence also supports the entity extraction process, which means that it is not the citizen who has to learn the official language, but a speech-savvy application who learns to deal with common language. We want to set up electronic administration columns that identify the speaker, understand the keywords spoken, and use them to initiate the administration process. Suffice it to say to the citizen that he is building and needs some permits to do so. The artificial intelligence application identifies the person based on the image of the camera, the system retrieves its permanent address from the database, asks for confirmation of this data and date, and issues it according to the conditions of the regulation, ie printed and mailed or e-mailed without human intervention. sends the permission, such as the space reservation permission.
However, this is just one example of using the entity extractor. A common feature of all applications is that it identifies and initiates the office process based on human speech.
Dozens of similar SZESs are in a pilot phase; and we intend to use EU funds to develop additional SZESs and to deploy hundreds of similar electronic administration columns this year.
As far as the system as a whole is concerned, there are three a separate level was developed. On the first level, we have created modules suitable for the transformation of the flow of information coming from the environment and outwards, where analog-to-digital conversion also takes place. These are the “senses” of the system as well as the means of communication. The second, deeper level of information flow takes place, where the development of interoperability between different system components is an important aspect. At the third level is the brain of the system, the “control” module, the central element of the MI-based system.
CW: If the case does not require a human decision, can you close it without the involvement of the artificial intelligence administrator?
HK: Exactly. Such are the cases of speeding under strict liability, in which there is no human involvement from the moment the camera photographs the speeding car, the artificial intelligence compares the license plate with the vehicle type, searches for the operator until it calculates and determines the penalty and
CW: In the case of speech-aware applications, the question arises as to whether the plans include a language-friendly application for citizens who speak foreign languages.
HK: The introduction of a module for border guards or migration management? ang Ol, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish are already solved, but the machine translation of certain languages and dialects could only be solved by double conversion. At the same time, for example, courts already have a publicly available, secure, high-quality, multi-camera video conferencing system with remote interpretation. The recordings can be played back, the judge can observe all the facial expressions of the interrogated – moreover, no descriptor is needed, because the description is also done by speech recognition. Planned improvements include the representation of tone, volume, mood, expression
In the case of the 1818 Government Customer Line, we also plan to incorporate artificial intelligence, including in the form of video chat. Artificial intelligence may not always be able to cope with citizens ’vocabulary, but the plan is for the administrator to also communicate through artificial intelligence, using a voice generator, while the clerk records the text. In any case, some of the questions from citizens calling 1818 customer lines are already answered by machine intelligence, which is close to 90 percent accuracy.
CW: Returning to Health: How Virtual
HK: Improving public health services is not only for the disadvantaged areas is a major task. Among other things, in cooperation with the Maltese Charity Service, we are planning to set up reception rooms where, with the help of cameras and screens, customers can seek medical help through online channels, from prescription to specialist care, after verifying their identity. Various medical devices, such as sphygmomanometers, can be placed in the room.
CW: Data from several sources ranging from border guards to health care. How is this data protected, segregated, or is it possible or necessary to interconnect it?
HK: We will comply with the law in all respects, data segregation will continue and we will comply to the fullest extent with the relevant provisions of the GDPR. We do not initiate proceedings that have no history; and the existing ones have the established procedures. The difference is that it is not the citizen who has to learn the language of administration, but vice versa. These are millions of users and tens of billions in development, which we want to achieve, partly with government support and partly because of the pandemic, with EU funding.