Implication if civil servants use ChatGPT (PQ reply by SMS Janil Puthucheary)
Implication if civil servants use ChatGPT to write reports and speeches
Fourteenth Parliament of Singapore – First Session for the Sitting on 28 February 2023
Mr Yip Hon Weng asked the Prime Minister with the use of ChatGPT by civil servants to write reports and speeches (a) what are the types of reports that will still be done exclusively by civil servants; and (b) how will the Government ensure and validate the accuracy of ChatGPT-assisted reports and speeches.
Oral reply by Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister-in-Charge of GovTech (for the Prime Minister)
Mr Speaker Sir, as part of our efforts to utilise technology to encourage innovation and productivity in the public sector, the Government is exploring how large language models such as those underlying ChatGPT can help officers do their work more effectively. One such effort is the development of Pair (spelt PAIR), in which we see potential in helping civil servants with parts of the writing process, such as summarising long reference material, exploring related ideas, or improving the clarity of writing.
Pair is still being developed. The Government aims to pilot this with a number of agencies and will carefully evaluate the results before determining how best to roll it out to the broader civil service. To ensure data security, the Government has struck an agreement with Azure OpenAI, the large language model provider, for government information to remain confidential. In addition to these technical safeguards, work that contains highly confidential or sensitive information will still be written exclusively by civil servants.
As suggested by the name “Pair”, the intent is for it to serve as an assistive tool that civil servants can leverage to improve their productivity, rather than entirely automating the writing process. Ultimately, civil servants using the tool are still directly responsible for making policy decisions, as well as crafting, refining, and customising the content of documents to ensure that they are relevant, accurate and appropriate.
The Government is committed to ensuring that we are well-positioned to benefit from innovations such as ChatGPT, while managing the associated risks.