AI will transform government communications – here’s how

By Adobe

As artificial intelligence rapidly transforms how businesses engage with consumers, governments must leverage emerging tech to drive effective messaging and communications. GovInsider speaks to John Mackenney, Practice Director - Digital Strategy Group APAC, at Adobe, to learn more.

Governments can transform user experiences using AI to personalise citizen journeys. Image: Adobe

Over half of business executives expect to start using generative AI to boost their customer engagement efforts within the next year – and such technology is already helping businesses personalise content and serve customers better, according to a new report, the “State of Digital Customer Experience”, by Adobe.

And governments aren’t slouching either. Singapore’s Government Technology Office is currently tapping on large language models to revamp its chatbots to better serve citizens, reported GovInsider previously.

Although governments wish to embrace AI, government communications in ASEAN remain fragmented, says John Mackenney, Practice Director - Digital Strategy Group APAC at Adobe, who works with governments across the region to drive digital transformation projects.

Many countries have over a hundred government websites and it can be difficult for citizens to find what they need, he explains. This is a far cry from the smooth operations of private digital platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Standard Chartered Bank, which offer streamlined, personalised services, he notes.

Mackenney shares with GovInsider how governments can better respond to such changing expectations and how government communicators can best tap on emerging technologies to serve citizens better.

People expect government use of AI

First, citizens will increasingly expect governments to tap on AI to improve government services while remaining sensitive to privacy concerns, he shares.

John Mackenney, Practice Director - Digital Strategy Group APAC at Adobe shares how governments can transform user experience. Image: John Mackenney, via LinkedIn

According to Adobe’s new report, people are excited about the potential of generative AI when it comes to buying products, with 56 per cent hopeful that it will lead to more personalised content.

“If they're expecting that in their other experiences in life, they will also expect that same level of experience from the government,” says Mackenney. This is particularly true in ASEAN, where citizens have higher trust in the government than other regions, he notes.

“There will be an expectation that this trust will be used to improve the quality of government services with these emerging technologies,” he says.

For example, governments can use AI-enabled chatbots to provide personalised guidance when citizens apply for services, he shares. Such chatbots have the potential to be more helpful and faster than search engines.

According to the “State of Digital Customer Experience” report, 45 per cent of consumers would prefer to have AI-supported services available to them when exploring new services.

However, people remain concerned about privacy, with 57 per cent of consumers surveyed sharing that they are concerned that their data will be used without their consent. Agencies thus need to ensure they maintain citizens’ trust and uphold privacy, says Mackenney.

Personalised support through data

Next, governments can tap on emerging data capabilities and personalisation engines to offer tailored support to citizens at every stage of their lives, he says.

“Citizens expect government services to be tailored to their particular needs,” says Mackenney. Within the private sector, only 46 per cent of executives report having a personalisation engine, though 78 per cent report having data management systems.

As digital identity programmes become more advanced in Southeast Asia, governments will gain a more connected view of citizens and be able to recommend appropriate services at each stage of their lives.

One such platform that does so is Singapore’s LifeSG, which aims to support citizens at key moments of their lives, reported GovInsider previously.

However, governments will need to overcome data silos to better understand how citizens are engaging across all government touchpoints, be it physical or digital, he notes. This will also help ensure that citizens do not need to repeat their concerns when approaching different agencies.

In fact, 70 per cent of consumers surveyed emphasise that it is important for organisations to deliver a seamless, unified experience at every point of interaction – but nearly two-thirds report a lack of consistency across experiences.

Connecting outreach efforts

Finally, it is critical that governments ensure their messaging efforts are connected, he shares. Agencies should consider developing systems that can coordinate messages across all touchpoints, catering to each and every individual in a citizen-centric way.

“If data is the voice of the citizen, the content and message we put forth is the reply we give,” he says.

For example, while younger users might prefer AI-enabled websites and mobile applications, there will always be citizens who prefer face-to-face channels like call centres and one-stop service centres, such as the elderly or people with disabilities.

In fact, improving digital channels for younger people can lower costs and free up resources for civil servants to focus on people with more complex needs, he notes.

“Governments need to ensure that no one’s being left behind and that services are truly inclusive for everybody,” he says.

Organisations that prioritise the user journey through unifying data, personalising content, and managing content with agility experience better outcomes. Find out more about how your agency can improve user experience end-to-end and customer experience trends with Adobe’s new “State of Digital Customer Experience” report.