Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have been defined as any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal (Russell & Norvig, 2016). Such technologies include, among others, machine learning, rule-based systems, natural language processing, and speech recognition (Eggers, Schatsky, & Viechnicki, 2017).
After a series of rises and falls in popularity, AI technologies are now experiencing a surge in diffusion, and are also beginning to be adopted in areas of the public sector (Desouza, 2018). These include, for instance, public education (Rockoff, Jacob, Kane, & Staiger, 2010), social policy (Chandler, Levitt, & List, 2011), public health regulation and healthcare provision (Kang, Kuznetsova, Luca, & Choi, 2013; Meskó, Hetényi, & Győrffy, 2018), law enforcement (Goldsmith & Crawford, 2014), and tax services (Nuance Communications, 2016).
Despite the wide array of areas of the public sector in which AI has potential transformative effects, research on AI and government is still scarce, and assumptions on the impacts of AI in government are still far from conclusive. On the one hand, AI applications are seen as increasing efficiency and effectiveness by automating cognitive labour, freeing up high-value work, providing predictive capabilities for decision-making, and improving services to citizen queries (Eggers et al., 2017). On the other hand, the introduction of AI is accompanied by fears related to the destruction of jobs caused by automation (McClure, 2018), the infringements of privacy caused by digital surveillance (The Economist, 2016), and the reinforcement of biases in policy-making caused by algorithmic governance (Janssen & Kuk, 2016). Few existing empirical accounts have started to provide a general mapping of challenges of adopting AI in the public sector (Sun & Medaglia, 2018).
This Special Issue of the Social Science Computer Review calls for research that can unbox the potentials, challenges, impacts, and theoretical implications of AI in government. We welcome research from different social science perspectives, including Public Administration, Information Systems, Sociology, Information Science, and Management, that can combine relevant research foci, with rigorous methodological approaches. Interdisciplinary submissions and submission with novel theoretical implications are also encouraged.
The Special Issue will apply a two-step reviewing process.
Extended abstracts and completed papers are to be submitted to Ms. Iseul Choi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completed papers may not exceed 10000 words (excluding references and appendices). Both extended abstracts and completed paper manuscripts must be submitted as a Word document, double-spaced, non-justified, in 12-point font. Tables and figures should be numbered and embedded in the text body. The reference style to be followed is the APA 6th edition.
Submitted papers should not be under review for any other journal or conference, should be significantly different from previously published work (at least 60% unpublished material), and should present original contributions. Duplicate submissions will be rejected. In case the manuscripts are an extension of previously published work (e.g., conference article), the authors need to disclose all information about the previous work upon submission.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the lead editor, Rony Medaglia, at email@example.com
Social Science Computer Review (SSCR) is an interdisciplinary journal covering social science instructional and research applications of computing, as well as societal impacts of information technology, and is in its 37th year of publication. In the most recent year for which data are available (2017), SSCR ranked 2/98 journals in its field (interdisciplinary social science); 20/105 in Computer Science, Interdisciplinary; and 14/88 in Information Science & Library Science. SSCR has an Impact Factor of 3.253.
Rony Medaglia is an Associate Professor at the Department of Digitalization of the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, and the President of the Association for Information System (AIS) Special Interest Group on e-Government (SIGe-Gov). Rony’s research focuses on digitalization in the public sector, from the perspectives of public policy, digital service provision, and citizen engagement.
Theresa A. Pardo is a full research Professor in Public Administration and Policy at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and the Director of CTG UAlbany, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). She has published over 130 articles, research reports, practice guides, book chapters and case studies, and is ranked among the top five scholars in her field in terms of productivity and citations to her published work.
J. Ramon Gil-Garcia is an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy and the Research Director of CTG UAlbany, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). In 2009, he was considered the most prolific author in the field of digital government research worldwide and some of his publications are among the most cited in the field. His research interests include collaborative electronic government, inter-organizational information integration, smart cities and smart governments, adoption and implementation of emergent technologies, digital divide policies, and multi-method research approaches.