S'pore civil servants can use ChatGPT to write reports & speeches in 2 months' time

AI sounding like civil servants sounding like AI.

Belmont Lay | February 14, 2023, 03:03 PM

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Civil servants in Singapore can leave some of the mental heavy lifting to artificial intelligence (AI) real soon.

ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, will be integrated into Microsoft Word and progressively rolled out to 90,000 civil servants, starting with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), The Straits Times reported.

The enhanced productivity work tool was the result of a month-long effort by Pair, a team from Open Government Products (OGP), an experimental development arm of the government that builds technology for the public.

The latest iteration of the ChatGPT bot can be used by civil servants for drafting reports and speeches, and subsequently, conducting research.

ChatGPT is from research firm OpenAI.

An early version of the Pair programme built into Microsoft Word will be made available to select partner agencies within two months.

However, data handled by the government will be kept confidential and inaccessible to Microsoft and OpenAI.

Microsoft made a US$10 billion (S$13.3 billion) investment in the San Francisco-based AI research firm OpenAI, which created ChatGPT and launched it in November 2022.

Demo version

Spotlight fell on Pair on Feb. 9 at the annual OGP Hackathon for Public Good finale, a month-long event where OGP staff are permitted to work on new tech ideas based on issues surfaced by the public instead of non-essential duties.

During the event, a demonstration showed that the chatbot was able to summarise long chunks of information and draft reports on policy-related topics within seconds, according to ST.

It can also recognise and instantly redact sensitive information.

Moses Soh, 29, who is a senior project manager at OGP, said the software is "to free officers up for higher-level tasks", as well as help them "get over that tough first draft, or speed up their work by creating sample e-mails or even speeches".

A subsequent version is in the works that will be able to access and analyse information from official databases.

No launch date for that has been planned yet though, it was reported.

Top photo via Unsplash