The AI system, which is being trialled across the UK, detects fraudulent claims by searching for behavioural patterns such as applications that use the same phone number or are written in a similar style. It then flags up any suspicious activity to specialist investigators. Historically, benefit fraud investigators have relied on far less sophisticated methods, including - it has been claimed - waiting for calls from disgruntled neighbours dobbing in cheats.
Although the AI system is primarily designed to root out criminal gangs, rather than individuals, it could also be deployed to identify those falsely claiming disability benefits and will scan right across the benefit system, including Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and the Personal Independent Payments.
Organised gangs are believed to be behind a £200 million rise in benefit fraud last year, which took the total stolen to a record £2.1 billion.
Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke said: “We are committed to tackling benefit fraud because it diverts money from the people who really need it."
The campaign is part of a Government drive to make more of technology to turn it into a "world-leading future sector of our economy".