KDI 정책포럼 Can Artificial Intelligence Improve the Effectiveness of Government Support Policies?
■ Despite high hopes for artificial intelligence (AI) to generate powerful innovations across the public sphere backed by its strong prediction skills, Korea has not fully brought the technologies into the public sector in tasks like identifying policy target groups and managing follow-up tasks in line with its policy objectives.
- Recent cases of AI-applied public services in Korea show limited usage, mainly replacing simple repetitive tasks.
- Few leading countries are trying to apply AI-based analysis to select promising policy target groups to effectively achieve policy goals and follow up on the performance of public projects.
- While the existing management system for policy performance is mostly about ex-post assessment of project outcomes, the application of AI technologies signifies a shift to data-driven decision-making that uses ex-ante forecasts of policy effects.
■ An analysis of AI-applied recipient selection of small and medium enterprise (SME) policy support programs demonstrated the efficiency of AI in predicting the performance of beneficiary firms after the program and AI's potential to significantly improve the effectiveness of public support by providing helpful information in screening out unfit SMEs.
- Using firm-level data, this study applies machine learning to various public financing programs (subsidies or loans for SMEs) funded by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and finds that AI helps predict the growth of recipient firms in the years following policy support.
- The application of AI in identifying fitting recipients likely to achieve intended objectives may increase project effectiveness.
■ In a KDI survey in 2020, respondents pointed out that what hinders transitioning into a system of AI-applied, data-driven policymaking in the public sector are: 1) incomplete standardization and linkage of policy information between governmental ministries and 2) lack of expertise in technology utilization in the public sector.
■ By developing a strategy to propel a transition into data-driven policymaking in the public sector, coordinated national-level efforts must be made to heighten policy effectiveness across different public fields, including education, health care, public safety, national defense, and business support.
- One way to adopt AI technologies in the public sector is by designing a policy to support technology adoption for competent public institutions. Support measures may cover system, data platform, security, organizational consulting, training, etc.
- Detailed strategies are: 1) unifying existing data management systems into one single platform, 2) reorganizing the way government work gets done to enable efficient exchange of policy information, and 3) building a trust-based public-private partnership.
- By examining the policy cycle from planning and implementation to evaluation, it is important to clarify areas for AI to contribute to policy decision-making. Also, the government needs step-by-step strategies toward data-driven policymaking, such as setting clear project objectives, selecting and sharing data, establishing system and security, and promoting operational transparency.
2. Adopting AI to Government Policy
3. Exploring the Benefits of AI Adoption in Selecting Policy Targets for SME Support Policy
4. Obstacles to the Transition into AIdriven Policymaking
5. Policy Recommendations for Data-driven Policymaking
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- 윤정애 전문연구원yoon0511@kdi.re.kr 044-550-4450
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