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German state plans to build open source AI tool for public administration

Schleswig-Holstein's upcoming OSS AI is meant for text processing

Published on: 25/10/2023 News
Dirk Schrödter, Digitalization Minister of Schleswig-Holstein
Dirk Schrödter, Digitalization Minister of Schleswig-Holstein

The State Chancellery wants to create a language model that will assist the state administration in text production and processing. The tool, tailored specifically for public servants, aims to to tackle text generation tasks such as summarising emails, transcribing audio and assisting in project planning. Schleswig-Holstein plans to roll out the AI model for testing before the end of the year.

“In the future, we will provide our colleagues in the state administration with AI services directly at their workplace,” says the state Digitalization Minister Dirk Schrödter.

“In addition to the use of existing AI services such as ChatGPT, we want to advance the development of digitally sovereign and open solutions. Because the administration of the future will be automated, algorithmised, cloudified and data-based. To make this vision of the future a reality, we need to provide the appropriate tools. This also creates added value and jobs in our local digital economy.”

To reach this ambition, Schleswig-Holstein will collaborate with the German open source file-hosting service Nextcloud. The collaboration was announced on 19 September in Kiel by the Nextcloud founder and CEO Frank Karlitschek and Minister Schrödter.

“Our strategic initiative will lead to the first digitally sovereign AI that can deliver insights based on sensitive government data, without the risk of third-party access”, commented Karlitschek.

Although the platform will allow the integration of models such as ChatGPT, Deepl and Aleph Alpha, the company promises the state AI model will be made available as “100% open source”.
The announcement is a continuation of Schleswig-Holstein’s pursuit of strategic goals on digital sovereignty. Earlier this month, Schrödter highlighted not only the region’s but also other states’ trust in open innovation and cooperation in a letter to the EU Commissioner for Competition and Digital Margarethe Vestager.