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Government CIO Siim Sikkut at Oslo Innovation Week: Estonia is trying to use AI to get rid of accounting

Estonia is among the top countries in the world in digital development with 99 per cent of its government services available online. But for the government, that’s not it yet…

„We think we are nowhere near done,“ Estonia’s government CIO Siim Sikkut says when speaking about the country’s digital development in a speech at Oslo Innovation Week 2019.

„What we are trying to do next, when it comes to government – even if almost anything you can now do digitally: we are actually trying to get rid of services and the need for you to interact with the government altogether.“

With the tools Estonia already has, among others the backbone of its information system, X-Road, a lot of public services can be easily automated with no rocket science – but a bit of AI – involved, according to Sikkut.

For example, for companies the following future scenario of automated accounting is being discussed: companies can give the government access to its original bank records and after that everything is done, so that no reports will ever have to be submitted to the government. „Let’s just connect to the source of the data – if you allow us to – and everything is done,“ Sikkut explains.

Similar scenarios around different life events such as going to school or losing a job, are being planned – for the government to act proactively when needed, with no input needed from the citizen to get access to the services he or she is entitled to.

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