“Public Service” in 2050

*this is actually an excerpt from my answer to the Malaysian Government’s survey on the 2050 National Transformation*

In this ever-changing world where technology is developing rapidly on a speed that has never been seen before in human history, it is improbable to give a 100% accurate picture of what the world will be like in 2050. Of course, there is no denying trends such as Big Data and Cloud Computing which will play a huge rule in shaping society in the next few years.

As things become increasingly connected to the Internet (Internet of Things), these connected devices will be able to provide huge amount on data on each and every individual user. Whether the government should be allowed access to personal information is another issue, but if access to these some of these precious data is allowed, the government would be able to individually cater to each individual’s need by using data profiling and other data science technology.

The term “public services”  is very broad covering such services such as Health Care, Military, Electricity etc. Each public service would need its own lengthy analysis and elaboration when it comes to designing a system that is sophisticated and responsive to the citizens. For the sake of example, let us think of such system in the framework of education.

Everyone knows that every child learns differently. Some might be better at visual learning whilst some might find learning through practical work easier. If the government had a way of obtaining data on each individual student, it might be possible to prepare an education curriculum that is catered and customized for that particular student. Advances in Camera Vision and Artificial Intelligence means that it might be possible to have a truly smart and integrated classroom. In a Smart Classroom, there would be cameras equipped with eye-tracking sensors or other face-recognition sensors that can recognize whether a student is engaged in the learning process. These data can then be fed back into a central processing system (in the school, perhaps) where each student’s individual profile would be updated accordingly to the data obtained.

Of course, the data would first have to go through analysis through automated computer algorithm that is constantly learning and adapting. It might not be too much to say that there are countless ideas on how to incorporate new technology into creating a customized public service which would serve the citizens well.

In designing such a system, some keywords to keep in mind should be “Artificial Intelligence”, “Human-Computer Interactions”, “Big Data” and “Connectivity”. In my opinion, by leveraging these rapidly-advancing technology, the government would be able to come up with a public service system that is truly sophisticated and responsive to the citizens’ needs.


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