Breckland Council, which covers Thetford, set to use AI chatbot to answer residents’ questions
A Norfolk council is looking to step into the future and harness the power of artificial intelligence.
People living in the Breckland district may soon be able to speak with a chatbot named Bobbie when they have questions about the council’s services.
The project has been in development since April 2022 and could be launched early next year.
It is hoped the new system will allow people to access the local authority’s services at any time of the day which will help improve efficiency and wait times for its staff when dealing with queries over the phone.
Bobbie the AI chatbot will form part of the council’s efforts to provide “exceptional customer service for residents, businesses, and partners by providing a simple user experience no matter how they choose to engage with us”.
Breckland Council will follow in the footsteps of North Norfolk Council, which launched Nelly, a similar AI chatbot system, last month.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life for many but there are widespread fears – including from Elon Musk, the owner of X/Twitter – about some of the negative impacts it could have.