Corruption (Transparency in Government)


Transparency in Government

The lack of transparency in governments around the world, along with outright corruption and misappropriation of resources by officials, is widespread and in many instances a severe hindrance to economic development. Countries with weaker judicial systems and more autocratic leadership tend to be afflicted more, but even in the world’s most developed economies the instances are far from rare.

At the heart of corruption lies the incentive scheme: the opportunity, motive, and expected outcome are aligned. If officials have limited accountability, can easily mask their actions, or form networks of complicit facilitation, then corruption will blossom.

Creating mechanisms of transparency and accountability to combat the expected outcome is the only sure way to reduce or eliminate undesirable behaviour of those in positions of power.

Primarily, anti-corruption initiatives operate on the fiscal dimension–attempting to ensure that there is transactional accountability and an audit trail. For example, in 2014, researchers at the University of Sao Paulo showed that the average price paid by the state government for a single soft drink was between 50 cents and $2,500

These kinds of transaction tracking and inference systems can be greatly augented through the application of Artificial Intelligence. However, the analysis of behaviour, influence, and relationships can go much further in reducing favours and conflicts of interest. The AI for Good Foundation operates on several fronts to support the creation of standardized solutions and implementations of Artificial Intelligence-powered analytical layers on top of raw goods and transaction data, as well as structural and relational data that can shed light on the important social vectors at play.

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