Cardiff AI for Waste
Cardiff to use artificial intelligence to handle waste queries to cut costs and improve services.
14:12 13 July 2018
Cardiff council is considering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide automated responses to frequently asked waste-related questions. The virtual assistant, which would be designed to provide timely responses, will allow staff to focus on more “complex enquiries that require direct human interaction.”
Paul Shepherd, boss of We Build Bots, which has been commissioned to create a chatbot for Monmouthshire council, said that dealing with rubbish and recycling collections, although important for customers, is an inefficient use of call handlers' time. He said that chatbots, which are now being widely used in both private and public sectors, is an effective way to answer questions that do not require enormous thought or emotional intelligence.
The report that is due to be reviewed by Cardiff's policy review and performance scrutiny committee reads: "Providing a simple, accessible route for customers to find information and complete automated transactions will encourage 'channel shift' away from the traditional, expensive contact routes - telephone and face-to-face contact,"
"Customer and employee experience is expected to improve alongside the projected cost avoidance through re-allocation of resource," it added.
The scheme can potentially save the authority up to £14.3million per year.