GDS creates machine learning-powered government innovation map

Written by Sam Trendall on 27 June 2018 in News
News

Organisation uses tech to maintain soon-to-be-published database of all innovative government projects

The Government Digital Service has created an “innovation map” to provide a comprehensive record of every inventive technology and digital project taking place across the civil service.

The database, which GDS hopes to publish externally later this year, was initially created and maintained by human research. But a machine learning tool is now used to monitor sources such as government intranets and populate the map with examples of departments and agencies using technology including drones, biometrics, and artificial intelligence.


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In a presentation at this week’s Public Sector Show in London, GDS director general Kevin Cunnington said: “We have a map of all the innovation going on across government and it is all automated. Every ALB (arm’s-length body), innovation fund, or catapult has been captured using machine learning, studying [things like] intranets, and that map is automated internally.”

While it has been used thus far to allow GDS to keep abreast of technology and digital projects, the map will shortly be opened up to help Whitehall innovators find and connect with peers, the GDS boss said.

“If you have an interesting programme, you can see exactly who is doing similar things across government,” Cunnington said. 

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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