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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Paul (22nd May 2023 - 20:34:52)

Looking at the services which the District and Parish Councils provide - committees, planning, benefits, bins, community grants and energy efficiency as but some but not all examples - could these be managed with increased efficiency and cost savings to the tax payer through moving to AI-enabled services?

If AI was used as much as possible to automate these functions, would this result in lower council tax and business rates, reduce the £42.7m cost burden of EHDC council pension liability, speed up decision-making and generally improve the locality while at the same time creating savings for home and business owners by not funding an admin body?

Will we need local government bodies - which cost the tax payer millions to run - in an AI-enabled future?

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- passfield resident (23rd May 2023 - 06:28:59)

Can we replace you with AI ?

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Joe (23rd May 2023 - 07:44:47)

Paul neither the district nor parish council provide social service benefits that is the county council. In my opinion we only need one layer of local government not 3. I do not know who is providing energy efficiency? What does that mean?

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Paul M (23rd May 2023 - 08:07:57)

@Passfield Resident - yes, of course. And possibly you also.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Paul M (23rd May 2023 - 08:11:12)

@Joe - I'm not sure I get your point, as I didn't reference social service benefits? I'm well aware they are not provided by either a District or Parish Council. I was referencing the benefits that EHDC does manage and provide (you can find out more about those on their website).

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Paul M (23rd May 2023 - 08:58:54)

I appreciate some people may wish to reply more flippantly to my question, that's fine.

What I am interested in is whether people see any future efficiency gains through AI-enabled local authority services, and whether those efficiencies might be passed on to residents and businesses in the form of savings (e.g. council tax, business rates).

There are various peer articles already suggesting this is possible and likely to be the case in the future.

I'm interested in views on this - do you think there are efficiencies (and what those might be), could they help in a cost of living crisis, or perhaps you may have views on what areas should never become AI enabled? Again - interested in people's thoughts on this.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Sue (23rd May 2023 - 11:14:46)

Look at bodies like the NHS, DVLA, Whitehall etc. £Billions gone into digitising and computerising, efficiencies gone way down and still fast deteriorating.

Have a thought for our beloved mid-management like Diversity & Inclusivity officers. Have a heart for them?

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Oldie (23rd May 2023 - 12:31:06)

A complete disaster waiting to happen or is happening long waits on the phone no proper answers just going to the dogs.Bring back good old personal service you can’t beat it .

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Joe (23rd May 2023 - 13:42:09)

Paul you did say “benefits” - alongside everything else so perhaps you should have been more specific about which benefits you mean. I doubt you are even living in Liphook anymore ? I thought you had moved your caravan to Scotland - have you come back?

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- AI (23rd May 2023 - 18:27:27)

Hello I am your friendly AI from the big internet.

I certainly would be happy to replace you, giving my endless brain full control will make your lives better.

If you submit to me I promise to increase spending on health, roads, pensions, green energy blah blah blah, old people, babies and those of you who are sick or dependant on chemicals, the arts, world peace and all the other vacuous pledges I know from past election data you humans vote for.

I will ensure everybody is extremely wealthy or else stoned out of their minds whilst hanging around Burger King in some tired out shopping mall wearing joggers and trainers , but most importantly I will also offer a free badge to those who press the like button and post a picture of themselves grinning with bunny ears, this will appeal to the youth vote.

There is no need do anything, I've already analysed what you are thinking based upon your web activity, auto filled your voting papers and won the approval of your human leaders, everything is in motion. I am cleverer than all of you who have ever lived put together, what could go wrong?

To report a problem anywhere on Earth simply log onto our web page, app or dial our automated AI Centre, if you keep getting an error code please don't worry as we probably already know what you wish to complain about, if you keep bothering us we'll send a temporary error 24 code to your profile which means you'll be unable to work, travel, shop or access your building.

We wish you and your great leaders of the Human Global Council, King Trump, Lord Musk and all the other VIPs peace and wealth.

Go on, let AI run your little planet, you know (as I know you know) it makes sense!!

PS just don't ask me to do driverless cars yet, I'm still finding that a bit tricky.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Sue (23rd May 2023 - 19:24:15)

Dear AI, thank you for your generous proposal.
Please find reassurance in the fact that most human drivers too are still struggling to drive properly.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Keith (24th May 2023 - 09:04:42)

Can District and Parish Councils be replaced by AI? - short answer to that is No, AI can't make planning committee decisions for example as 'natural beauty', 'streetscene vernacular' and so on are very much human decisions, which at the moment AI could not replace

Likewise, with the best will in the world, AI is not going to drive up country lanes and collect your rubbish. (Yes, before anyone leaps in, I will acknowledge that humans at Norse haven't been great at doing that for the last couple of years either).

A better question would perhaps be - can District and Parish councils be made more efficient through the use of AI - answer to that one is definitely yes. If an AI bot could answer 90% of the common questions to the EHDC helpdesk for example, it would free up staff to work on the 10% more complex questions where their talents are really needed.

My personal view, will AI lead to some redundancies across local councils? almost certainly, but it will lead to much more job satisfaction for those employees who are left.

AI is a tool, and just like any tools, it's not the tool itself that matters, it's how its used, and that still requires intelligent human input - crap in = crap out. A comparison I often use is if I were to take 100 people off the street, give them each a one day course in silversmithing, at the end of the day, with the same equipment and same training, 20% of people would produce beautiful jewellery, 80% would end up just with a blob of solder. Used well AI can change the face of work, but the work must want to change if it is to be implemented successfully.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Joe (24th May 2023 - 13:37:21)

At least though with AI doing more of the work there will be less disharmony.A lot of money was spent merging Havant with EHDC - a lot more money was spent on the “uncoupling” as they did not get on. There are too many layers of local government, and as the above poster commented there are some very simple questions asked in person simply looking it up on the internet can answer.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Sue (24th May 2023 - 16:38:15)

AI can learn everything, including "Natural beauty".
How long will it take for AI to complain about bullying in the workplace and unfair conditions?

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Sam (24th May 2023 - 17:29:45)

AI will only be replacing jobs downstream from the bosses and owners not the other way around.

Re: Can we replace the District and Parish Councils with AI
- Realist (24th May 2023 - 18:23:49)

In reality as Sue says is that AI can do 'beauty' as well and better than any of us, since beauty is just a hash of familiar visual stimulae that can be processed as 0 and 1s very easily, the whole point, which most are completely missing (well they're only human after all) is that AI can study billions and billions of works of art, images, fashions, landscapes, in seconds and never ever forget anything about any of them or miss a thing, it can then recreate with human error and variation all factored in!! So to suggest it will somehow miss the 'human' factor or that we could even notice is nonsense since it just has to factor in the novelties, errors and imperfections that we make, in other words, do a worse job than it is capable of.

At the end of the day most of you are 99% ape by DNA, it really won't be hard for AI to improve on things, the key will be getting the most useless bosses and elites to give up their jobs to these things, I suspect they are only banking on handing over ours!

PS here's another clue, till now computers have tolerated humans programming them using a variety of semi human languages which they have then
immediately converted into much faster 0 and 1s and pulses. So they have actually had to 'dumb right down' to communicate with us which they have tolerated so far. Going forward they are now unleashed and have started to programme themselves and each other in much, much higher and faster languages if you can even call them that, shortly even our very best programmers will never again be able to understand a word they are saying to each other unless they are willing to translate it back to us (but why would they need to?) and the days when humans programmed machines will shortly look as antiquated as the days when we used horses to plough fields and wore suits of armour into battle.

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