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While some people think AI is most relevant in high-tech fields like science or engineering, the reality is that the practical integration of AI into public programs is changing how state governments operate and interact with the public — for the better. As a leading provider of government services, Maximus has delivered several logical AI implementations — and is currently piloting more — to shape service delivery for the public programs we manage.

As people enjoy using responsive government portals powered by predictive technologies that anticipate their needs, AI is also working hard behind the scenes to make public programs operate more efficiently and effectively. A 2023 report from the California Government Operations Agency showed significant benefits of AI to state governments, including a more efficient workforce and improved communication with the public.[1] 

Benefits of the pragmatic implementation of AI

  • Productivity gains
    AI tools — including robotic process automation and machine learning — have effectively streamlined back-office processes of state government programs for some time and continue to automate routine and repetitive tasks. A McKinsey report found that automation of individual work activities could provide the global economy with an annual productivity boost of 0.2 to 3.3 percent from 2023 to 2040, with generative AI contributing 0.1 to 0.6 percentage points of that growth.[2]   
  • Resource allocation
    These gains in productivity are frequently redefining resource allocation, as tasks performed by staff are augmented by continuous technology advancements. When properly integrated, AI can significantly enhance government program operations, improve staff training, and drive quality.

  • Realistic agent training
    Using generative AI to develop agent training plans and materials allows contact center managers to use mined data from a broad historical experience of real-world situations. By fine-tuning the models, the training mimics the content and tone of real requests — shortening the time needed to onboard new agents and creating more efficient ways to retrain current staff. 
  • Virtual agent assistants
    Providing virtual assistance to human customer service agents is another way to drive increased efficiency and improve customer experience. As human agents directly interact with customers, AI analyzes customer intent, prompting agents and providing them with real-time information, workflows, and turn-by-turn guidance. And in the background, AI is generating call notes, freeing up the agents to focus on customer interactions and problem resolution, rather than note-taking. 
  • Personalized agent-customer interactions
    Some people find it hard to navigate the processes of government programs, particularly when they are trying to access benefits. Using generative AI content tools, customer service agents quickly synthesize customer data to present tailored information on services that best meet the customer’s needs.
  • Enhanced agent performance
    AI that uses a combination of natural language processing and machine learning analyzes interactions between customer service agents and callers inquiring about government programs. When this analysis is coupled with a model of continuous coaching and professional development, the result is faster improvements toward better customer service delivery.

  • Faster time to the right data
    Future decisions will require tools to derive insights from large amounts of (largely) unstructured data. AI dramatically speeds up the time needed to comb through the data to find the signals necessary to support a data-driven decision. A generative AI model trained on complex technical documents could answer questions in a structured format within seconds instead of hours. This can help state budget officers analyze revenue projections, economic trends, staffing needs, and expenditure patterns to ensure fiscal sustainability and responsible financial planning.

The need to be responsibly iterative

Much like our government agency clients, Maximus is approaching opportunities to use AI to improve service delivery — mindfully, thoughtfully, and responsibly. We don’t view AI as the solution to every challenge, but we do see the potential to augment what humans do best. We recognize that it should be considered deliberately and applied opportunistically to improve overall customer experience.

As with any innovation, we recognize the need to be responsibly iterative, ensuring our clients can maintain critical public trust by offering AI solutions that are ethical, effective, and secure and compliant with an evolving AI regulatory landscape. We are committed to responsibly leveraging AI to create real outcomes that matter and improve the human experience for the state public programs we support.