AI in public services, Open Banking

I was listening to this podcast on the way to work this morning. Two really interesting points that were too long for Twitter..

Automation + public services (in this particular case using AI to identify if schools are passing or failing). Obviously, there are huge efficiencies to be made through automation.. but there are also dangers from putting algorithms solely in charge.. especially if those same algorithms are ‘black boxes’ where the inner workings are kept under wraps. If we don’t know how it works, how can we ensure there isn’t an inherent bias unintentionally built into the system? There are many things we can take from the tech world to improve public services, but lack of transparency & accountability isn’t one of them!

Open Banking — I must admit I’d totally missed this policy initiative that is due to go live in January. What is it? Basically it requires that the nine biggest UK banks must open up their current account data to 3rd parties. Why does this matter? Potentially it means that a whole new slew of services can spring up using that data. For example — what if you had an automated financial assistant that told you where your money was going and how you could save more of it? Banking has been slow to change because it’s been an exclusive club. The likes of Monzo has shown what banking looks like if you design things from the ground up for the benefit of customers. Hopefully open banking will encourage even more innovation in this area that will ultimately help people better manage their money in these austere times.

More reading on Open Banking in this article here:

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