At the beginning of the year, the City of Vienna attracted a lot of attention with a new project: It presented a new chatbot for communicating with citizens. After a trial period in which the feature was only available via Facebook Messenger, it is now also available as an app. It is the first chatbot in the service of a municipal administration.
Easy access to information – even on the road
The aim of the project is to make information more accessible to citizens. Up to now, long link lists have often appeared for search queries, the processing of which was very time-consuming – especially with tablets and smartphones. By answering citizens’ questions directly, they can obtain the information they need much more quickly, even on the road.
Speech recognition for easy communication
To make the service even more user-friendly, the chatbot also has voice recognition. It is also possible to type in the questions, but this method takes a relatively long time. Therefore speech recognition provides even faster and more efficient access to information. The voice output also contributes to simple communication.
Answers to important questions about municipal administration
Right at the start of the project, the chatbot offers answers to around 350 topics. To this end, the developers examined which requests are made frequently on the wien.at website. Thus users receive exactly the information they need. In addition, the program learns with each request and thus ensures a continuous improvement of the offer.
Vienna: Pioneer for digitization in the city administration
The City of Vienna has taken on a pioneering role with this offer. The first few months will already show how citizens accept this service and whether it really does provide useful information. It is foreseeable that in course of time more and more cities and municipalities will offer a comparable service to provide their citizens with information in a simple and efficient way.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.