Running a country? There’s an app for that

David Cameron app

Believe it or not, governing a nation is tough work. There’s special interests to consider, tax plans to wrestle, budgets to contemplate, wars to run, opponents to blackmail. It’s almost too much for the human mind to handle. Or, in the case of British Prime Minister David Cameron, it is too much to handle. Which is why he did what any computer programmer would do when faced with a pesky problem: He got a computer to do the work for him.

The BBC reports that Cameron has begun testing a mobile Web app “to aid in decision-making and day-to-day government affairs.” The app, dubbed simply “Number 10 Dashboard,” was developed by British civil servants in the “Technology in Business Fast Stream” program. According to the app’s developers, Number 10 was designed to give government leaders “an at-a-glance overview of everything that’s happening in government and elsewhere.”

“With a few taps or swipes of his fingers, [Cameron] can see very quickly what important new information has come to light, how certain government services are performing, and a selection of relevant and important news reports,” according to those involved with the project.

According to the BBC, Number 10 will also keep its high-powered users informed about trending topics around the Web, and on social media outlets in order stay on top of events that might require government action, like “markets crash” or “bomb threat.”

Alice Newton, one of Number 10’s developers, says that Cameron likes the app, which he uses on his iPad, so much that he plans to give U.S. President Barack Obama a demo at the 39th annual G8 summit, which will take place in the U.K. next year.

“He in particular liked the statistical side, where we could give him quotable facts about what was going on,” said Newton. “He found it useful to have a hard evidence base.

“He liked it so much, he was looking forward to showing it to President Obama at the G8 summit.”

Chances are, Obama will be receptive to the app. His administration has been one of the most technology-focused in U.S. history, with initiatives concerning everything from increasing access to high-speed Internet to cyberwarfare and robotics.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication that the rest of us will have a chance to peep Number 10 anytime soon. But we imagine it working something like Apple’s Siri, but the answers take 20 times longer to appear thanks to stifling bureaucracy.

Image via DFID/Flickr


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