Key challenges for the participatory governance of AI in public administration


As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly embedded in government operations, retaining democratic control over these technologies is becoming ever more crucial for mitigating potential biases or lack of transparency. However, while much has been written about the need to involve citizens in AI deployment in public administration, little is known about how democratic control of these technologies works in practice. This chapter proposes to address this gap through participatory governance, a subset of governance theory that emphasises democratic engagement, in particular through deliberative practices. We begin by introducing the opportunities and challenges the AI use in government poses. Next, we outline the dimensions of participatory governance and introduce an exploratory framework which can be adopted in the AI implementation process. Finally, we explore how these considerations can be applied to AI governance in public bureaucracies. We conclude by outlining future directions in the study of AI systems governance in government.

Citation information

Wong, J., Morgan, D., Straub, V. J., Hashem, Y., & Bright, J. (2022). Key challenges for the participatory governance of AI in public administration.

Turing affiliated authors

Dr Jonathan Bright

Head of AI for Public Services and Online Safety AI Research, The Alan Turing Institute