The Polish public sector has been undergoing an advanced technological transformation in recent years. Digitisation of public administration is one of the government’s priorities. One of the important aspects of implementing modern technologies in offices is the use of artificial intelligence. In the coming years, Poland will receive about PLN 60 billion from the EU budget for innovative investments.
The attitude of the public sector in Poland towards the development of AI technology
The public sector in Poland is discovering the advantages of artificial intelligence. The public institutions in Poland carry out activities at various levels. The AI solutions are being invested in by governments all over the world, which, according to Think Tank The Artificial Intelligence Quotient, have allocated approximately USD 152 billion to these projects by the end of 2019. Poland ranked 27th in the ranking evaluating preparation for use of AI in the public sector. Perhaps in future years the position of Poland in the ranking will increase because in the third quarter of 2020, the Polish Government is to adopt a Productivity Strategy. One of its important elements is the Artificial Intelligence Development Policy.
Assumptions of the AI Strategy
Last year, the Ministry of Digitisation published the assumptions for the AI strategy in Poland. The strategy defines the necessary actions that the Ministry plans to take in order to popularise artificial intelligence in Poland. In this document, the analysts of the Ministry of Digitalisation have identified key sectors where it is necessary to implement AI solutions quickly and effectively, including public administration and health care. Furthermore, the Ministry plans to harmonise the definition of artificial intelligence in Polish law in the near future.
GovTech Polska as a tool of change
Apart from planning activities, the government launched the GovTech Polska project in 2019. GovTech Polska is an institution cooperating with the Polish government. Its area of activity is technological innovation in the public sector, including public procurement for offices. GovTech supports the authorities in finding and defining technological problems. It asks what process could be implemented with the help of AI. It participates in technical dialogues between contractors and offices. GovTech supports solving IT problems that cannot be solved with solutions already available on the market. It only recommends the selection of products existing on the market. GovTech Polska will be supported in the AI area by the Digital Sandbox project. The aim of the project is to create a testing environment and to obtain information for GovTech. Thanks to the knowledge gained in the Digital Sandbox, it will be possible to implement new or improved public administration services using API interfaces.
AI development at local administration level
Not only the government administration is actively involved in popularising AI technology. The local administration is also beginning to take advantage of the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Among others, Świdnik (the town in Lublin Voivodeship) verifies the compliance of waste management with AI. Some local authorities have implemented artificial intelligence technology into their onboarding processes, which was very useful during the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. National Health Fund uses AI to search for inaccuracies in hospital accounts for medical services.
Participation of PPPs in technology development
In addition to public institutions, state-owned companies and subsidiaries play an important role in the development of AI technology in Poland. The largest Polish Bank – PKO BP together with the Polish Development Fund are implementing the National Cloud project in cooperation with global giants such as Microsoft and Google. The National Cloud is a provider of cloud computing solutions on the Polish market, whose aim is to accelerate the digital transformation of Polish enterprises and public institutions. The value of the project is calculated in billions of PLN, of which Microsoft alone contributes USD 1 billion. Increasing the supply of computing power and disk space will help to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence technology in Poland.
More and more institutions are using AI technology. The most important factor in the development of the AI industry, however, is the change in the government’s approach. There is also a growing awareness among public administration employees of the importance of AI in the efficient management of the state. This thesis is evidenced by the increase in the number of regulatory projects covering the area of artificial intelligence. The government side also sees value in the process of opening data and facilitating access via API.