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Understanding the benefits of GenAI to the public service

Learn about the potential benefits of GenAI to the New Zealand public service, use cases and examples of free and paid GenAI tools.

Download a one-page summary or the full interim guidance in PDF format:

Interim GenAI guidance for the public service — Summary (PDF 230 KB)

Interim GenAI guidance for the public service — Full guidance (PDF 193 KB)

Note: This is interim advice and will be reviewed as AI and GenAI evolves and the risks are better understood.

Learn the tools and set up guardrails for your context

Generative AI (GenAI) represents significant benefit potential, and many public servants are keen to use this modern technology.

Agencies should start learning about GenAI to understand how to safely realise the benefits in a secure and privacy-protecting way. While we cannot predict how this new area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be used in the future, we’re working on the assumption that it’ll be part of the lives of knowledge workers across the country.

Rather than suggest an interim ban, or a halt on using GenAI, we encourage agencies to safely trial and learn about it. But you should do so cautiously.

The benefits of GenAI to the public service

GenAI could offer many benefits for the public service. These could include:

  • efficiency and productivity — through process simplification and automation
  • improved service design and delivery — through targeting and personalisation
  • enhanced cyber monitoring and defence — through advanced predictive analysis, vulnerability assessment and threat detection
  • innovation — from optimisation and access to “big-data” based insight
  • improved policy development — through accessing fuller data and insight, and availability of nearer real-time analysis.

Example uses of GenAI within the public service

These are all small scale examples of how you can start to use GenAI tools, understand and learn how to prompt and speed up some of the tasks that public servants do daily.

  • HR advisors reviewing job ads for bias or overly complex language.
  • Policy analysts providing impact analysis during policy development.
  • Data or security analysts transferring code or scripts. For example, KSL to SQL or R to SAS.
  • Developers reviewing code for vulnerabilities.
  • Developers seeking explanations of error messages in code.
  • Security analysts writing hunting queries when trying to understand the scope of an incident.

Examples of free vs. paid GenAI tools

It should be noted that this list is point in time and will evolve as AI technologies evolve. We're considering the options for maintaining an accurate and up to date-list of available GenAI products, and assurance options for these.

Be aware of the risks of free and paid GenAI tools

Free GenAI Tools

  • ChatGPT — conversational AI trained on a large set of text from 2021.
  • Bing and The New Bing — ChatGPT-based discussions and search results inside Microsoft Bing.
  • Google Bard — designed to function similarly to Chat GPT with the biggest difference being that Google pulls its data from the web.
  • Stable Diffusion — free stable artwork generator; no login required.
  • PicsArt AI Writer — generates marketing material, (for example, slogans or LinkedIn) for free.
  • Eightify summarises YouTube Video with AI ChatGPT — creates YouTube summaries.
  • Gimme Summary AI — Chrome extension that summarises web articles.
  • Whisper — provides online transcription of audio files using large language model (LLM) from OpenAI.
  • Runway — AI photo and video editor.
  • Riffusion — generates music from text descriptions using Stable Diffusion.

Paid GenAI Tools

  • Microsoft Copilot (not yet available in NZ) — a GenAI tool that can automate tasks within the Office365 tools (for example: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams).
  • Duet AI for Google Workspace – embeds the power of GenAI across all Google Workspace apps, helping to write, organise and visualise.
  • Zoom IQ – Zoom IQ is a smart companion to Zoom tools that use technology from OpenAI to help provide meeting information.
  • Slack GPT – is bringing the power of GenAI, through having natively embedded summarisation and text generation, within Slack's existing features for its core messaging services.
  • GrammarlyGO – is expanding beyond grammar and spell-checking to writing.

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