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Enfield hires cognitive tech service agent


Council to use artificial intelligence in service desk role under deal with IPSoft

Enfield Council has taken a step into the use of artificial intelligence in a deal with cognitive technology company IPSoft to use its Amelia virtual agent in supporting its services.

The London borough plans to begin using the software during the autumn, providing the first role for the technology platform in a public sector organisation.

A spokesperson for the council told UKAuthority: “The initial deployment will be to help people navigate the website more effectively, and free up time for customer service staff to handle the more complicated enquiries.”

Amelia is a cognitive agent for service desk roles that uses natural language to communicate with people. IPsoft claims it can analyse language, understand context, apply logic, learn through observation, determine what actions to take to resolve problems and sense emotions.

Press reports have said it can be connected to all the relevant systems in an organisation, and recognise when to involve a human agent. It has also been said to be more expressive and capable of showing empathy than other artificial intelligence programs.

So far it has been used in a number of private sector service desk roles, including IT support for a European bank, managing invoice queries for an oil and gas company, providing policy guidance to mortgage brokers, and supporting customer service agents in a US media services company.

Reimagine services

IPSoft’s EU chief executive officer said the technology provides the potential to help public authorities “reimagine” how their services are delivered.

James Rolfe, Enfield’s director of finance, resources and customer services, said: “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 frontline services. Deploying IPsoft’s world leading artificial intelligence is another major milestone in this journey.”

Image by, CC 2.0

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