The Hellenic OCR Team and The Open Government Institute at Zeppelin University announce their partnership.
Friedrichshafen/Athens. Parliaments generate and process enormous amounts of data. Some of these are publicly accessible, some are not. How can these data volumes be made more usable, both for parliamentarians and for the public? And how can artificial intelligence help parliaments to better manage these data volumes and thus optimise processes?
An international cooperation of two research units specialised in administrative and legal informatics wants to find answers to these questions. One is based in Friedrichshafen, Germany: The Open Government Institute (TOGI) at Zeppelin Universität, which specialises in opening up administrative data and using smart technologies; the other is in Greece: The Hellenic Optical Character Recognition (OCR) team, Hellenic OCR Team, a decentralised research network that specialises in the automatic recognition and analysis of written documents from administrations and parliaments.
The purpose of this cooperation is to jointly tackle common challenges in legal and administrative informatics. For example, they want to address problems arising from the public accessibility of parliamentary data and the possibilities of new digital technologies. The cooperation includes the promotion and study of open parliamentary data and the development of electronic tools and services for parliamentary and government systems. The cooperation provides the foundation to conduct studies, capacity building missions and technical and scientific support in state-of-the-art research endeavours.
The agreement will allow TOGI to access specialised know-how from the Hellenic OCR team’s network. This network consists of academic institutions, companies and researchers that spans across 13 countries on 4 continents. “We are pleased to be able to provide parliaments with valuable impulses for the future use of artificial intelligence through our cooperation,” says Institute Director Prof. Dr. Jörn von Lucke. Vice versa, the Hellenic OCR Team will be able to make use of TOGI’s advanced analytical capabilities in the area of e-government and open government. Dr. Fotis Fitsilis, co-founder and team leader, praises the new partnership: “With TOGI’s advanced analytic abilities, our global network will be able to pave the way for more institutions towards the Parliament of the Future.”
An example of the cooperation potential was showcased through the implementation of two extraordinary workshops at the Hellenic Parliament (2021) and the Honorable Cámara de Diputados de la Nación Argentina (Honorable Chamber of Deputies of Argentina) (2022). Empirical evidence was collected for the future use of artificial intelligence (AI) based tools and services in the parliamentary workspace. The workshops rely on an original research scheme jointly developed by Zeppelin University and the Hellenic OCR Team researchers. During an intense and complex assessment process, more than 200 AI-based technology proposals were evaluated in terms of their priority and relevance for application in the respective parliamentary workspace.
The analysis of such datasets offers significant insights for the prioritisation of disruptive technologies and the clustering of information needs. With the help of this analysis, digital strategies can be developed with which parliaments can prepare for future institutional challenges. Early results were presented at specialised conferences in Wroxton, UK and Linköping, Sweden.
“The Open Government Institute” (TOGI) is an institute of the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Jörn von Lucke. It deals with administrative data and citizen participation processes and has a thematic focus on open government.
Find out more at: https://www.zeppelin-university.com/institutes/togi/
The Hellenic Optical Character Recognition (OCR) team is a decentralised crowdsourcing platform from Greece with members in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. It deals with the recognition, processing and analysis of parliamentary and governance data.
Find out more at: https://hellenicocrteam.gr