Artificial Intelligence – Arcus Global Develops the World’s First Alexa Skill for Local Government Transactions

Arcus Global

Arcus Global
October 2, 2017

You may have read that Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) has become the first local authority to launch a ‘skill’ on Amazon Alexa. What you might not realise is that we at Arcus developed the app for AVDC.

If you’re not familiar with Alexa it’s an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, in short it’s artificial intelligence in action. You can ask Alexa questions and give it commands. Alexa will play your favourite music or set an alarm; you can use it to check on the local weather and traffic updates. David Limp of Amazon predicts that “voice control in the home will be ubiquitous, kids today will grow up never knowing a day they couldn’t talk to their houses.” Quite a thought to contemplate.

So how does this relate to local government services? Initially the Alexa skill will be used to ask for payment options for council tax, to obtain information on recycling, waste collections, and recycled needle collections. Residents will also be able ask questions on the political and council leadership.

The introduction of AI has been part of AVDC’s plans since the inception of its Connected Knowledge programme which was developed to better meet council residents’ demand in addition to the increasing expectation of a 24/7 digital-first experience for residents.

Lars Malamqvist, Co Founder of Arcus Global commented:

“We’re proud to have developed the world’s first Alexa skill that provides fully fledged local government transactions. AI-driven technology will be a key enabler of better local services and working with AVDC we have had a chance to start blazing a trail towards that future.” 

This is just the start of what will be possible and part of the whole digital transformation process that key public services are undertaking all over the country.

If you’d like to know more about the new Alexa skill, or indeed anything else, please do get in touch.