In 2018 a team of experts from Global Digital Technology (GDT) and the private sector came together to create a system to review and transfer these digital files, since one did not exist already. From the beginning it was clear that we should take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to allow our human reviewers to work more quickly than is possible in paper review. We established a multi-phase development plan, agreed with our FCDO customer.
The system needed to be robust, future-proof, provide an effective interface for the reviewers through state of the art hardware and software, and meet rigorous government security protocols. We achieved all of these and the first viable system became operational in April 2019.
Reducing risk and improving efficiency are key to developing a system capable of managing a digital record collection that expanded exponentially from its early beginnings.
The system needed to be robust, future-proof, and provide an effective interface for the reviewers through state of the art hardware and software
Through experimentation, we have increased the speed at which our Sensitivity Reviewers can find the information they’re looking for. Using their experience, and by uploading the decisions they’ve made in the past, we created guidance that could be understood by a computer. When we apply this to our current records, it helps answer questions and speeds up the review process.
We continue to experiment with rule- based digital sensitivity review and regularly evaluate its implementation to assess how we can improve.
New tools continue to be developed to ensure that topics in the FCDO records collections are found and recognised as historically relevant for transfer to TNA.
Over the last year, our team have introduced robotic applications to further reduce the risk of human error by standardising repeatable business processes, and to accelerate manual tasks such as gathering relevant information.
We continue to improve digital assistance applications to increase efficiency. These help our highly-skilled reviewers to simplify the execution of complex tasks.
We have made progress on other applications that enhance our core capability by providing relevant insights, reducing the time required to analyse material. We have also introduced semi- automation to remove human effort where it makes sense to do so.
We value collaboration and have expanded our consortium to include a trusted community of experts across different disciplines to ensure we remain at the leading edge of technology.
We continue to improve digital assistance applications to increase efficiency. These help our highly-skilled reviewers to simplify complex tasks.
Mindful of the commercial potential, our modular approach builds in the ability to take advantage of emerging technologies to continue leading the way.
Interest across HMG remains extremely high. In the last year, we have briefed a number of Government Departments on our progress, and started work on a feasibility study for HM Treasury. We expect to expand our activities as it becomes clear that we have the right solution for Whitehall Departments.