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Estonia calls on tech experts to develop its Siri-like civil servant

Estonian government opens up applications to tech experts across the world, offering them the chance to work on a world first for digital government services

The Estonian government is looking for tech developers from around the world to support development of its digital civil servant, through its latest procurement process.

Through a $5m experimental framework, the small Baltic nation wants to build next-generation, artificial intelligence (AI)-based government services, which will be delivered through its Siri-like digital assistant.

It wants developers, data scientists, data analysts and data architects from countries belonging to the World Trade Organisation with a focus on software development, language technology and machine learning. Those that take up the challenge will work on Estonia’s government services digital assistant, known as Bürokratt, which started work in May this year. The Siri-like assistant personalises support to citizens when they use government services.

Bürokratt, which brings together an interoperable network of AI applications, will even contact citizens proactively to remind them if they need to complete a task, such as renew a driving licence, register a birth or file their tax return, and promises to save the government millions of euros in administrative costs to make citizens’ lives easier.

There is no other project like it, and it is another example of Estonia leading the way in digital government.

Estonia is a leading nation in terms of tech development, but it is small and open to citizens of other countries that can offer skills and expertise in technology.

The Estonian government said: “The procurement object encompasses various works in data science, machine learning and language technology. The tender participant must propose at least one of the following roles: data architect, language technology data scientist and data analyst. It is possible for those performing the work to contribute to the further development of various parts of this project, particularly of the virtual assistant of the Estonian state called Bürokratt.”

Applications to take part, from individuals or teams, are open until 26 August 2022

Ott Velsberg, the Estonian government’s chief data officer, said: “Having built and been recognised by the World Government Summit as the best AI-powered government service with Bürokratt, we are keen to improve the service even more, to provide citizens with more control over how their personal data is leveraged to access government services.

“We look forward to welcoming a range of specialists to come and work with us and become part of one of the most technologically advanced government projects in Europe and contribute to the development of an AI government stack that benefits the whole of society.’’

Apply to take part here

Read more about Bürokratt

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