AI in government report: leaders call for more aggressive adoption, say employees are prepared

Government decision-makers would like their organizations to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) more aggressively and feel their employees are prepared to do so, according to a new KPMG study on AI in government. Nearly four in five (77 percent) government leaders want a more aggressive approach. Seventy-four percent said government is dedicated to upskilling employees in AI and that their employees are prepared for AI adoption in terms of their skill set (71 percent).

“While there is the strong desire among government agencies to adopt AI and confidence in their employees, for a successful deployment, it’s critical that they continue to assess how AI fits in the broader government modernization strategy,” said Lorna Stark, KPMG national government & public sector leader.

Government decision-makers also identified some of the challenges in deploying AI technology. They said cybersecurity breaches (63 percent) and privacy violations (42 percent) are the greatest potential risks of AI adoption, and that they struggle to select the best AI technologies (75 percent).

“AI development is a very complex, fast moving area, and it’s difficult even for people who focus on AI for a living to keep up with the market,” said Rob Dwyer, KPMG Advisory Principal specializing in technology in Government.

Still, AI is already making inroads in government, as 61 percent of government decision-makers said it is at least moderately to fully functional. Over the next two years, government decision-makers said they are planning to leverage AI mostly to improve process automation (48 percent) and analytics capabilities (40 percent). AI’s development has yet to catch up to the talk, as 64 percent say it’s more hype than reality.

Government decision-makers also joined respondents across industries in KPMG’s AI study in believing that the Biden administration will do more to help advance the adoption of AI in the enterprise (79 percent) and that government should be involved in regulating AI (82 percent).

“We are seeing very high levels of support this year across all industries for more AI regulation. One reason for this may be that, as the technology advances very quickly, government decision-makers want to avoid AI becoming the ‘Wild Wild West.’ Additionally, a more robust regulatory environment may help facilitate commerce. It can help remove unintended barriers that may be the result of other laws or regulations, or due to lack of maturity of legal and technical standards,” said Dwyer.

To speak with Stark and Dwyer about AI in government,  please contact Melanie Batley.


About Thriving in an AI World

The KPMG study, Thriving in an AI World, is an evolution of a study KPMG originally released in early 2020. The findings are based on feedback from a range of 950 full-time business decision makers and/or IT decision makers* with at least a moderate amount of AI knowledge and at companies with over $1 billion in revenue**, across seven industries (150 respondents+ per industry): technology, financial services, industrial manufacturing, healthcare, life sciences, retail, and government. The online survey was fielded between January 3rd, 2021 and January 16th, 2021. The margin of error (MOE) for the total sample at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.2 percentage points.

*Only government respondents included IT decision makers.

**Healthcare and life sciences respondents were from companies with over $100 million in revenue. +Healthcare and life sciences respondents only had 100 respondents per industry.




Mike Alva

Mike Alva

Director, Corporate Communications, KPMG US

+1 925 878-5488

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