AI Business School launches curriculum for government agencies

Päivi Sutinen in front of a monitor presenting how the Espoo city government used AI

More than 140,000 business leaders have immersed themselves in AI Business School since Microsoft introduced the online leadership series two months ago. Now, the school is adding materials designed specifically for government agencies.

The goal: To help government leaders, policy makers and administrators learn more about how technologies infused with artificial intelligence can help their constituents, particularly when it comes to the delivery of important services ranging from applying for a construction permit to getting access to health assistance.

On May 28, AI Business School will launch a new learning path that describes important considerations and potential opportunities for government organizations as they evaluate how AI can help governments become more agile, consistent and efficient, and also better deliver services to their citizens.

“Leaders in the public sector are often faced with unique challenges when considering how to apply AI to improve the speed and quality of the government services they offer their citizens,” says Mitra Azizirad, corporate vice president for Microsoft AI marketing. “The opportunities and scenarios for AI in the public sector are ever increasing, which can make deciding where and how to apply it quite daunting. This is precisely why we expanded Microsoft’s AI Business School to now include a specifically tailored and targeted public sector curriculum to help these leaders address their citizens’ unique needs.”

Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice president for government, said the new government learning path is a win for both government agencies and the constituents they serve.

“Helping governments reach and serve people through cloud services is a key priority for us,” Salcito said. “Citizens want to be able to interact with governments in real time and from any device. AI enables a two-way conversation where citizens can contribute information and receive insights in return.”

“It’s really thinking about 21st century workforce skills,” he added. “The fact is that government workers across the board – and especially decision makers – don’t necessarily have that familiarity or depth on AI. This new learning path is a way to get them introduced to the concept and to understand why it’s important in the context of government work.”

The new content for government leaders will include:

  • A video lecture from Peter Zemsky, Eli Lilly chaired professor of innovation and strategy at INSEAD graduate business school, on why and how governments can identify the right opportunity to use AI.
  • A case study illustrating how the city of Espoo, Finland, is working to modernize life for its residents.
  • A demo showcasing how governments can use intelligent bots to help citizens access resources.

With the assistance of AI, experts say governments can do things like find ways to reduce the time people spend waiting in line for services or find ways to improve public safety.

AI tools also can help government organizations analyze data to find better ways of helping constituents. They also can be used to create intelligent assistants that get people answers to simple questions faster, freeing up government employees to handle more complex requests.

For example, the city of Espoo has been using AI to analyze how its citizens access services, with the goal of figuring out how to serve people more efficiently and effectively. Päivi Sutinen, Espoo’s director of city-as-a-service development, said the experimentation revealed that by using AI and customer data more effectively, they were able to allocate resources more efficiently. That’s helping put the city on a path towards a more sustainable future.

“We launched our experiment because we wanted to find out whether AI can help us target our services proactively,” Sutinen said. “The answer is a strong yes.”

Microsoft says governments of all sizes can benefit from the AI Business School’s new learning path.

“We believe this course is valuable for government decision makers at all levels — from small municipalities to large cities,” said Salcito. “The beauty of artificial intelligence technologies is their scalability.”

Jaime Pereña is a director of AI marketing at Microsoft.