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Wandsworth and Richmond run AI voice assistant trial


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames have launched a pilot project in the use of automated outbound calls for residents receiving health and social care.

The project, carried out with conversational AI company Tovie AI, is part of the councils’ joint digital transformation project.

Set to run over three months, it will involve Tovie AI’s voice assistant being used in two scenarios. In the first it will contact residents on waiting lists and inform them about their application status while gathering updates on their circumstances.

In the second it will interact with residents, including people considered vulnerable, who have been provided with electronic devices such as tablets by the council. The assistant will engage with them to understand how they are using the device, assist in dealing with any problems, and communicate any concerns back to the councils’ team through a central mailbox.

Quality and accessibility

Wendy Jones, digital project manager and best interest assessor for the two councils’ transformation and digital service, said: “People across the country expect public services to be high quality, accessible and easily available whenever they are needed.

“When it comes to digital transformation in local government, integrating AI in public services helps centralise various processes, saving time and enhancing the ways these services can be delivered to the community.

“The key is to improve staff productivity, eliminate repetitive manual tasks and manage tight resources to align with the societal shift towards digital technologies.”

Joshua Kaiser, CEO of Tovie AI commented: “This pilot is an exciting development and one we are all monitoring daily to see what the results will be and how our technology could further be applied to different use cases across council services.

“Critical to this is how their residents feel cared for, how easy the service has been to use and how it has segued with the delivery teams. This could lead the way for other digital transformation projects across local government and the wider public sector.”

The news comes shortly after that of another initiative by Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames involving digital technology in adult social care. They reported financial savings and other achievements from the use of digital devices under the Gloria project.




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