For the first time, the source code of an AI-based application was made public. TEXTA, the document analysis tool was published on the Estonian government open source repository.
TEXTA Toolkit is a set of tools designed to complete most of the common text analytics tasks developed by the Estonian startup TEXTA OÜ. The software allows the user to analyse data collected from vast and/or complex databases. Its main components are a searcher application, a classification tool, a data extractor and a terminology analysis tool. The source code of the TEXTA toolkit is open to all, and free to use on GitHub.
To develop the TEXTA toolkit, TEXTA OÜ received grants from public institutions, namely the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme, the startup grant of the Enterprise Estonia association and a grant from the Estonian Language Technology Programme.
In recent years, several public administration bodies of the Estonian government have used the TEXTA toolkit. For instance, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research used the software to audit its document management system. The software was, therefore, able to analyse more than 800,000 documents in order to determine which were not suitable to be publicly accessible. Another example is the use of the TEXTA software by the Estonian judicial system. The toolkit was used as an analysis engine to process the numerous documents of the registry of judicial decisions and identify the results of the lawsuits.
An open source code repository powered by the Estonian government
In Spring 2019, Estonia launched the first version of a government repository platform where open source software solutions developed for the government are made public and freely accessible. All the open source solutions are available on koodivaramu.eesti.ee. The long-term goal of the Koodivaramu platform is to build community-based e-state solutions and the code repository will be a cornerstone of that project.
One of the goals of the Estonian national action plan to take e-government to the next level, is to boost the use of open source software. In regard to the use of AI, the Estonian government is aiming at testing, commissioning, and making base components of AI-based standard applications available. Such a process would speed up the implementation of AI-based solutions.
According to the Estonian Government Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Deputy Secretary-General for IT and Telecom Siim Sikkut, "Relying on common solutions in places where there's no point in reinventing the wheel has been one of the mainstays of the Estonian digital state.”