Artificial intelligence technology has developed in leaps and bounds over recent years and private sector organizations are increasingly leveraging AI and machine learning for everything from customer service to data analysis. The successful implementation of AI has allowed for processes to be optimized whilst costs are cut, and lead to greater customer satisfaction at the same time. Whilst government and public sector services have been slower to recognize the value of AI, there are many applications for conversational AI in this sector. Let’s take a look at the role conversational AI can take in government and public sector services.
The State Of Public Sector Services
Public sector services are still waiting for the technological revolution. Whilst some services have gradually shifted online — and this process was forced to speed up in response to the global pandemic in 2020 — government services are still heavily reliant on physical interactions and documentation. For example, queuing at the DMV and wrestling with complex systems of forms are commonplace in interactions with public services. These costly processes, requiring heavy investment in personnel and infrastructure, could be streamlined through the use of AI, creating optimized systems that offer streamlined and economically efficient models for public services.
Whilst the gap between public and private sector technological uptake tends to be significant, users of services in these dual spheres have no such gap in their expectations. As AI is rolled out in customer service roles in the private sector, consumers enjoy faster response times and improved service. These expectations also scale from older to younger users — millennials and gen Z in particular are used to operating in virtual environments and expect digital solutions to a range of problems. “Failing to meet user expectations is problematic within any demographic,” says Charlene J. Davis, a writer at Assignment Help and OXEssays, “but amongst younger generations, a failure of government can have significant ramifications for faith in the public sector as well as enthusiasm for partaking in civil society.” Conversational AI will be vital as governments face up to the challenge of meeting user expectations.
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The Rise Of Chatbots
Perhaps the most recognizable instance of conversational AI in customer service roles is the chatbot. Chatbots have become almost ubiquitous, sprouting unprompted on a wide range of websites from online banking to clothes shopping. By being programmed to understand keywords, chatbots can assist customers with a range of issues. “At their most simplistic, a chatbot can simply act as a dynamic FAQ,” says Alejandro H. Brennan, a chatbot expert at Revieweal and Custom Writing Services. “In this form they can help users to navigate websites — many government services from welfare to pensions could easily implement chatbots to assist users through complex tasks.” Chatbots can also be valuable for dealing with customer complaints — when programmed with more sophisticated natural language AI chatbots can seamlessly replicate human assistants — without the wait times.
Already across America forward-thinking local government entities have implemented chatbot technology to great success. As a case study, the experience of Los Angeles has been informative: a chatbot built by the city has been fielding questions from local businesses throughout the pandemic.
New Tech: Voicebots
Because many public services still rely heavily on phone lines, chatbots have a limited scope in the public sector. In this sphere, voicebots can be implemented to cut user wait times on phinelines to zero. Voicebots are valuable because their intuitive interface is accessible to a broad range of citizens, and they can be deployed to handle a wide range of common queries. In Mississippi, for example, local governments have integrated information about filing taxes and vehicle registration with Amazon’s Alexa — meaning that citizens have a wealth of information at their beck and call.
Inertia within the public sector often creates a resistance to the adoption of technology. But private sector experience has now demonstrated beyond all doubt the efficacy of conversational AI in revolutionizing customer facing roles. Chatbots and voicebots can be easily integrated with existing services, and AI can be cost-effective and exceptionally efficient. Indeed, as conversational AI is rolled out by public services, we’ll see the vital role it has to play in empowering younger demographics to engage with social services and civic institutions. The technology has arrived.
Bio: Lauren Groff is a writer at Write My Paper and Big Assignments. Lauren writes about science, technology and AI developments, and is fascinated by the rapid pace of innovations and their implications for wider society. Also, she is a blogger at Assignment writing services.
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Revolutionary Technology: Why The Public Sector Needs Conversational AI was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.