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DLUHC team develops chatbots for HR support

Chatbot icon on smartphone
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A team at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has developed two chatbots to support its HR operations.

Development of the bots has been the first project of the department’s new innovation squads approach to improve processes.

The first bot is a manually scripted model named HR Harry, built on Microsoft’s Power Virtual Agents app by squad members with no prior coding knowledge.

It is now being embedded into DLUHC’s HR department’s suite of internal digital services and is being used to help other functions develop their own chatbots.

The second is an AI bot using Azure OpenAI + cognitive search, which has ingested the department’s HR handbook and integrates with OpenAI’s ChatGPT product.

This is currently in a test environment.

Increase efficiency

Both solutions have the potential to increase efficiency for colleagues seeking to get answers and allow HR to reduce the time spent answering frequently asked questions, to focus on more high value work,” DLUHC said in blogpost on the project.

Further experiments and tests with AI chatbots are planned in the department, aimed at establishing what they feel like for users and to consider the benefits and any arising issues from their use.

DLUHC said the first six-strong innovation squad was set up to build on the achievements of its small multidisciplinary teams taking an agile approach, and are including non-digital members of staff.

It said: “Our priority was to enable the department to solve problems and seize opportunities with speed and efficiency. By assembling a small but empowered team, we were able to leverage the collective expertise and diverse perspectives of our talented individuals, despite them having never worked together before.”

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