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4 human-tech trends shaping the future of public service


March 4, 2024

For this blog, Anita Puri, global public service industry lead, partners with Bryan Rich, global public service industry data & AI lead, to examine the 2024 Accenture Technology Vision trends through a public service lens.

It seems like just yesterday we were discussing Technology Vision 2023: When Atoms Meet Bits, in which generative AI made a prominent appearance. A year later, generative AI is dominating headlines and impacting business decisions, steering new conversations around the dynamic relationship between humans and technology. This is the crux of Technology Vision 2024: Human by Design. This year’s report focuses less on individual technologies and more on the evolving nature of human interaction with technology and data.

The advent of more human technology is evident in four key trends:

  • A Match Made In AI: The evolving ways we access and utilize data in the age of AI

  • Meet my Agent: AI is taking action, but human guidance remains essential

  • The Space We Need: Spatial computing makes data more accessible and interactive

  • Our Bodies Electronic: The “human interface” is making it possible for technology to better understand and respond to users

Now is the time for public service leaders to consider how new human-technology interactions can reshape service delivery and ways of working. In coming years, businesses and public service organizations will have an increasingly powerful array of technologies at their disposal, ranging from autonomous digital agents to brain-computer interfaces. These technologies can work alongside the public service workforce, as well as those at nonprofits and educational institutions, to provide high-value services and materially reduce the overhead required for workers who perform complex repetitive tasks. Agencies are recognizing this; 91% of public service executives agree that with rapid technological advancements, it is more important than ever for organizations to innovate with purpose.

A Match Made In AI

This trend is about the changing nature of our interaction with data and the role of generative AI chatbots. Chatbots are not just retrieving, they are synthesizing information. Our survey shows 88% of public service executives agree that interaction with data will shift from traditional search methods to asking questions and receiving direct advice and answers. These technologies are already enhancing judicial processes and simplifying taxpayer interactions: Spain’s Ministry of Justice is developing an AI-powered search engine that gives the judicial ecosystem a quick way to find information buried among thousands of complex documents. To fully benefit from AI chatbots government agencies must digitize processes and migrate data to a centralized location for chatbots to access.

Meet My Agent

This trend explores the expanding capabilities of AI and the importance of human oversight. We found that 91% of public service executives agree that AI is moving from assisting users to acting independently. Coupled with the shortage of government workers, an environment ripe for AI-to-AI collaboration is emerging. This creates opportunities for AI agents to collaborate with each other, but it also creates concerns. Blind trust of AI outputs can lead to misinformation. And in the public sector, trust and transparency are essential. Human oversight and accountability are needed for AI-based decisions to ensure that AI is always providing equitable, accurate and secure information and services. In fact, the U.S. Department of Defense developed a prototype AI bot that can write contracts to reduce administrative burden in the acquisition process; however, there is always a human reviewing.

The Space We Need

This focuses on spatial computing and its potential to transform government operations. Combining digital and physical realities, spatial computing can provide realistic alternatives or enhancements to in-person experiences. While many industries are considering ways spatial computing can provide engaging new consumer experiences, government service users and workers prioritize efficiency and simplicity. Spatial computing has the potential to vastly improve government workforce experience, efficacy and safety through opportunities like digital twins for city planning to augmented reality for rescue and safety personnel to VR-based training for case workers. Forms of these solutions are already live in the public sector. The Accenture Virtual Experience Solution (AVENUES) interactive learning platform continues to move the needle when it comes to soft skill training for frontline workers.

Our Bodies Electronic

Finally, "Our Bodies Electronic" explores the use of human interfaces, such as eye-tracking, biometrics and brain-computer interfaces, to better understand human behaviors and intentions. Ninety-one percent of public service executives we surveyed agree that human interface technologies can transform human-machine interactions. Such technologies have the potential to provide more seamless digital identification processes; however, they also raise concerns around trust, privacy and surveillance. Public service organizations play a critical role in developing responsible guidelines around technology. Chile was the first country to pass a constitutional amendment to extend human rights to include neurorights. Government agencies will need to address growing issues around trust and technology misuse — or the “human interface” will never live up to its potential.

In a time when technology is rapidly providing new capabilities, it’s crucial that public sector agencies keep human-centric design principles at the forefront so technology can be a force of improved quality, equity, trust and security in government services. Check out Accenture’s Technology Vision 2024 to explore these trends in more depth.


Anita Puri

Managing Director – Public Service, Global Lead