How HeyGov Uses Artificial Intelligence

Dustin Overbeck Thumbnail
Nelet Kok
April 13, 2022

As we all rush towards digitization, cloud-based and online, very little thought is spared to understanding how it works and what it entails. This blog aims to identify and explain a couple of elements associated with digitization, to create a basis for learning. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not just robots taking over the world, it is, in very simple terms, the use of functions incorporated into our everyday lives to run systems and processes. AI refers to a wide range of abilities that computers have. It helps solve problems, especially in local government where the purpose is to serve the community and to better deliver services to each constituent. 

HeyGov, as municipal software, makes use of AI to improve the output of clerks and local government employees. An algorithm is a set of instructions or rules that solves a problem or a task. Very similar to a recipe. While ‘cloud based’ refers to a server, so everyone has access to the files on it. An example is Dropbox.

HeyGov makes use of AI (artificial intelligence) in the following ways: 

  • Based on reports submitted to Hey311, a heatmap is compiled and seen on the homepage. This helps municipal workers and clerks see the epicenter of the problem or how wide it spreads, at a glance. 
Example of a heatmap
  • When a constituent logs a report on Hey311, and a photo is uploaded: the photo is scanned and keywords are identified eg. as graffiti or potholes. Together with the description of the issue, the keywords are compiled.
Photo and keywords scanned to determine a report on Hey311
  • When a constituent uses HeyGov Pay or HeyLicense once to apply for a renewable license - when the deadline approaches to renew the license again, they’ll receive an automated renewal reminder. 
  • When signing digitally on a form the signature is analyzed and matched. This helps prevent fraud.
Example of a signature similarity determination
  • When a city receives Hey311 requests they are connected to our servers’ machine learning capabilities to determine which departments should receive the assignment for the requests automatically. It happens on a large scale and some cities won’t be able to experience this until the probability model hits 98.5% which involves a lot of requests.
  • On the government workers view, AI automatically detects and auto fills the ‘form type’ and ‘icon’ dependant on name of the application (be on the lookout for this feature, it will be live next week!)

Making use of AI does make the world easier, it ensures faster services and more precise services to individuals. Algorithms do not always operate seamlessly. However, it does ensure every report is equal and no favoritism is shown as the same ‘rules’ are applied to everyone

At HeyGov we believe in transparency, and this blog is just one more layer that we’d like to leave with you. 

We hope you found this useful! 

*Written in collaboration with Andrei Igna: HeyGov CTO

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