D7: What is it? Who is it? And How Touchtech Got Involved

The D7 (Digital 7) is a network of seven leading digital governments. Formerly known as D5, it was made up of the United Kingdom, Israel, Estonia, South Korea, and New Zealand. This year, 2 additional nations joined following the annual meet up; Canada and Uruguay.

So what makes these nations so special?

D7 want to offer robust digital opportunities for both the private sector and civil society to interact with the state, through the convenience and capability that new technologies can offer.

The fundamentals tying these nations together are their approaches to digital government: offering open collaboration, and liberating citizens abilities to interact digitally with the state. This could cover things like:

It’s fair to say these nations are certainly paving the way, setting best practises and breaking ground in the nexus between political and digital domains.


Touchtech & D7

Each year, the Digital 7 meet to discuss ideas and collaborative projects, and plan for continued success. This year, we were excited to find that D7 (this year known as Digital 5 2018) was being hosted on our turf, Wellington, New Zealand.

Even more exciting was that we were invited to showcase one of our leading projects, SAM - The Virtual Politician.

SAM (Semantic Analysis Machine) is an artificial intelligence-powered politician, whose mission is to act as a representative of New Zealander's political opinions.

This is all made possible through AI, Machine Learning, and Chatbot technologies, where members of the NZ public can talk to SAM about national and global issues. It learns both through these conversations, and through scouring news and social media sites to collect any information, which can better shape the opinion it is presenting.

The objective outcome is for SAM to be the voice of the people - a true, unbiased representation of the nation, promoting better policy for everyone.

“So this is the one who’s going to take my job?” said New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern after meeting SAM.

Although it’s said in jest, we actually do want SAM to evolve into a Virtual Politician that can run for Prime Minister in the next election. At the minimum, our project will encourage an increased alignment to politicians around the world representing the interests of the public.

SAM is an instrument supporting the D7 ethos, that is, to enhance connectivity between the government and the people, via the means of innovative technology.  Tweet: SAM is an instrument supporting the #D7 ethos, that is, to enhance connectivity between the government and the people, via the means of innovative technology. https://ctt.ec/53Wqb+ @TouchtechNZ

We’ve loved seeing the buzz generated around SAM. At Touchtech, we’re really excited to see what the future holds, and how the SAM the virtual politician adds value to New Zealand’s reputation as a leading digital government.