Artificially intelligent ‘employee’ makes its debut in the public sector

Enfield Council will become the world’s first public sector organisation to deploy a cognitive agent to improve local service delivery, it has revealed.

The council will implement Amelia, a virtual agent built by IPsoft that is capable of analysing natural language, understanding context and applying logic. Amelia learns, resolves problems and even senses emotions.

The artificially intelligent agent will be put to work within Enfield Council later this year, with services due to be in operation from the autumn.

According to the North London council, Amelia has the capabilities to make it easier for residents to locate information and complete standard applications, as well as simplify some of its internal processes.

For example, the council is evaluating how Amelia can help visitors to its website to quickly to the correct information. Amelia will also provide self-certification for planning, making it possible to authenticate applications for permits and licenses.

>See also: 4 crucial skills for surviving in a world with artificial intelligence

Amelia has been adopted in a wide range of roles in the US and Europe, but this is the first time it will be deployed in the public sector.

Existing use cases of the AI agent, which IPsoft also pitches as a ‘digital employee’, include managing IT service desk queries for a European bank, managing invoice queries from suppliers for a global oil and gas company, providing policy guidance to mortgage brokers for a high street bank, and assisting front-line customer service agents for a large media services organisation.

Enfield Council said the deployment represents a significant milestone in its overall digital strategy.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to deliver better services to residents, without increasing costs,” said Rob Leak, CEO at Enfield Council.

Enfield Council’s finance director James Rolfe added: “Our approach to transformation embraces digital technology to find completely new ways of supporting residents, which, in turn, frees up valuable resources for reinvestment in front line services.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...