Case study: AI-Powered Council – Newcastle City Council AI Strategy First Steps
Client: Newcastle City Council
Date: September – October 2023
Challenges faced by the client:
The leadership of the Newcastle City Council (NCC) is aware of the opportunities the application of AI can have in the delivery of services to local residents and the streamlining of business operations, but is also cautious about the risks it poses.
Mutual Ventures and Artemon Strategy were commissioned to support Newcastle in developing their first steps towards a comprehensive AI strategy, ensuring the Council is well equipped to take advantage of the tremendous advantages that AI offers, and that a fair balance is struck between being innovative and managing risks.
We have been working with the Newcastle team to consider the following questions:
How might AI transform the strategic environment within which a council/community operates?
What are the key ethical considerations?
What AI is already being used within the council?
Could AI enhance the effectiveness of council staff by better analysing data patterns and trends to assist with prioritisation and early intervention?
Could some processes be completely automated to create a 24-hour service with limitless capacity?
What are the key practical considerations such as the availability, maturity and appropriate use of data?
What can be done immediately to prepare for potential disruption?
We have tackled these questions through the development of a framework which considers both the main use cases for AI in a council or public service organisation and also the key enabling factors. We also carried out a staff survey to establish a baseline for AI use and also general attitudes, hopes and fears.
We have produced a strategic report with recommendations to support the NCC Leadership Team to prioritise areas for further detailed exploration and decide on the immediate next steps. It will serve as the foundation for informed decision-making and the successful advancement of AI strategy in the future.
The next step would be the development of a full AI strategy which would consider the full range of council services and interactions central government, local partners and communities.