UK Department for Work and Pension to use AI for benefit claims

The UK Department for Work and Pension (DWP) is reportedly working on an intelligent automation system to help process benefit claims within the country’s welfare system. The DWP is working with automation company UiPath to develop a virtual workforce that could process simple welfare cases and payments, thus allowing human staff to focus on more complex cases. Programmers are working in an ‘intelligent automation garage’ to design, build, and test software that could check benefit claims for fraud and cross-reference claims with data gathered from public and private entities. It is hoped that automation and machine learning will make the claims benefit system more efficient and help detect fraud attempts easier. But there are also concerns that the DWP’s work towards automation is not based on a sound impact assessment on how algorithmic decision-making could impact individuals.