Tarinat ja julkaisut



“AI is now entering our lives via public services” – How can AI be democratic and inclusive?

CAAI team from left Ana Paula Gonzales Torres, Antti Rannisto, Nitin Sawhney, Kaisla Kajava and Karolina Drobotowicz.

Q: Team CAAI (Civic Agency in AI), you examine the use of artificial intelligence in public services. Why is this important? 

A: As digital public services increasingly incorporate AI-based technologies, we need to question their social, political, and ethical implications. There are examples where lack of responsible and democratic approaches to AI development have caused problematic outcomes, often for the most vulnerable in society. Also, an EU-wide regulatory AI Act is currently being proposed, and  will have crucial implications for Finnish society.  

Q: What are some of the current challenges in public service AI projects? 

There is often a lack of diversity in ethnicity, gender, and experience, in the teams that develop AI systems. This can make the resulting digital services less inclusive, but also less innovative. Also, there is some hesitation from experimenting with novel approaches, and engaging citizens in the design process. Also reputational fears can lead to a tendency to minimize transparency.  At the same time the phase of development and emergence of regulations is very fast, which makes the field challenging for all parties.

Q: How does your project work with these issues, other than research?

We do not only investigate the situation, but also contribute in the process. We use, for example, experimentation and participatory methods. We work closely with the public sector in Finland, its values, practices and policies. The aim is to create innovative, inclusive and responsible design of public AI services.

Civic Agency in AI: Democratizing Public AI Services – webpage
Funding programme: Is Democracy Eroding?