The discussion, led by Theta’s Product Solution Architect and go-to bot and cognitive technologies expert Jim Taylor, centred on the ways chatbots could help in the delivery of government services.
How could bots be useful for government?
In the age of conversational commerce, how can the public sector make the most of this emerging technology to connect directly and usefully with its citizens? How can bots reduce friction in interactions, improve access to public services, support open data initiatives and increase service efficiency? Here are some of the scenarios and benefits we discussed.
Bots can deliver rich app-like functionality on the platform people are already using – they don’t need to download something new. This is a key benefit, especially given the exponential growth of messaging platforms - both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp now reach 1 billion monthly active users.
Source: Digital in 2017 Global Overview
Bots can make full use of images, video, files, location data, artificial intelligence and more to provide smart, personalised and relevant information.
Bots can be used to surface data that may otherwise be difficult for citizens to access, thanks to the accessibility of the conversational interface. The bot can ask questions to clarify and pinpoint what someone is looking for – whether that be contact information on a website, forms to complete or data points in a dataset. This could help agencies meet their open data obligations.
Bots can be integrated with existing government services and APIs (and our integration team can help with that!).
Consultation by conversation – it’s now possible to engage citizens, via chat, with a digital personality, to find out what they think about issues and proposed changes.
FAQ and support bots could provide an alternative way to navigate government information and processes.
Bots can also be deployed to solve a single problem simply and well, like the Facebook Messenger bot we built for Snowcentre, allowing customers to make, change and query bookings via a bot.
Got an idea for a bot?
These are just a few of the possibilities for innovating with bots in the public service. Got your own idea for a bot? Contact us to discuss how we can help you realise that idea.