AI Made Friendly HERE

Home Office plans ‘test cases’ for Microsoft Copilot generative AI tool – PublicTechnology

Department signs contracts to support experimentation with possible uses of AI and automation tech, including exploring the use of sophisticated tools, and the ethical and operational ramifications of doing so

The Home Office is to explore possible uses of Microsoft’s Copilot generative artificial intelligence tool, as well as other potential deployments of automation technologies.

On 12 February, the department entered into a near-six-month contract with digital consultancy Methods. The firm will provide “business analysis” services in conjunction with a programme intended to “establish test cases for the deployment of Copilot” to a cohort of users across the department.

This will include work to “elicit, analyse and validate business requirements and user needs”, as well as efforts to “uncover policy, legal, ethical and other constraints and  requirements from a wide variety… of stakeholders”.

The firm will also support the implementation of the technology in these cases, and will help evaluate the outcomes and “lessons learnt from the deployment” of the Microsoft technology.

Looking ahead, Methods will also work with the Home Office to “support the definition of the Copilot” and “establish ways of working for the future deployment of Copilot”.

Related content

The department has become the latest in a growing number of Whitehall departments to experiment with the potential of the Microsoft artificial intelligence platform. Last year, the Departments for Business and Trade, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Work and Pensions all signed up to take part in an “early access programme” to trial the technology – although the latter has also prohibited its staff from using other forms of generative AI, including ChatGPT.

The Home Office has awarded two other contracts to Methods, both of which came into effect at the start of April, run for six months and also cover the provision of the business analysis for the department’s Automation Centre team. According to the text of the near-identical contracts, the supplier will work with the centre “to analyse and document opportunities for automation transformation” that have been flagged up by other parts of the department.

“We require business analysts to focus on analysing automation opportunities including business process management and process optimisation to enable successful delivery across a pipeline of automation candidate areas for the Home Office,” the contract says. “This will involve collaboration with operations, caseworkers, DDaT, HR and finance functions to ensure they yield business benefits. This work will feed into the wider digital-by-default programme.”

The three engagements will be worth a cumulative total of a little over £700,000 to the tech consultancy.

Originally Appeared Here

You May Also Like

About the Author:

Early Bird