The AI4GOV Toolkit is aimed at fostering a human-centered and systemic perspective towards the development of public services that integrate AI meaningfully. It has been developed within the context of the world-class master’s program AI4GOV, that is pioneering a multidisciplinary approach to educate functional specialists in the application of AI to public services.
A focus on the AI4GOV Master
The Master culminates in the education of functional specialists with the necessary competences to introduce effective adoption of AI for innovating public services. A functional specialist in AI and public services will not only understand the foundations and state of the art of AI technologies but also the full cycle of development for a public project related to AI: design, development, delivery and evaluation. To achieve this profile, the Master merges multidisciplinary knowledge and skills, mainly from the fields of AI, service design, policy, and ethics.
The master is delivered according to the teaching approach of project-based learning (PBL). PBL is a comprehensive approach to classroom teaching and learning that is conceived to engage students in an investigation of authentic and novel problems. In PBL, the project is the focus of the teaching strategy where students learn and grasp the central notions of what is being taught. PBL is very well suited to teaching technical and technological issues more effectively (like in the case of AI to public sector experts), as it is proven to strengthen both a creative attitude and project management abilities.
In the context of this master, PBL is applied to train participants in a project environment. This means to set goals, to decide the path, to accept risk, failure and serendipity, to embrace complexity and ambiguity, to play with real-life situations that can be prototyped and tested in real settings. All these elements are considered crucial to teach a new multidisciplinary subject, like AI for public services.
What’s the role of the toolkit?
In this context, the AI4GOV Toolkit offers a methodology and the specific tools for its application in real public sector projects, considering the technology not an end but a means for reaching wider strategic objectives, particularly the meaningful adoption of AI to solve real societal needs. Following this approach, the tools proposed are specifically designed, or adapted from traditional service design ones, to guide both experts and non-experts in design and AI working in Governments and public administration with different roles (decision makers, civil servants, policy officers, external consultants) throughout the entire design process of envisaging, planning for, and testing AI-infused solutions.
How to navigate it?
The tools proposed in the toolkit span throughout four main phases of the design process: (1) Context analysis, (2) Envisioning solutions, (3) Idea development, and (4) Testing, also providing prototyping tools that can be transversal to those phases.
Each tool is provided with a canvas giving a short description and instructions about how to use it, an example, and a blank template to be completed accordingly.
Even though the tools are vertically aligned, the order in which to compile them can be customized based on the specific project under development and its contextual needs.
Who might benefit from it?
The AI4GOV Toolkit is ideal for anyone who has to deal with complex problems related to the development of AI systems and wants to ensure a systemic and human-centered perspective in envisioning solutions.
It can be used by service, UX, and system designers, AI developers willing to explore new approaches and broaden their views, but it has been specifically thought to be accessible also for novices in service design and AI fields, who can benefit from a deeper knowledge of these disciplines for their professional careers, like practitioners with key roles in public administrations.
Within the Master, the use of the AI4GOV Toolkit is introduced and facilitated by the teaching staff, but it can be approached both individually and – preferably – in groups to convey reflection and discussion about relevant aspects of project development.
AI4GOV Toolkit © 2023 by AI4GOV Project is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/