‘Ask Jamie’ is a virtual assistant (VA) that can be implemented on agency websites and trained to be able to answer queries within specific domains. When activated on a website, a chat window will open to allow the public to ‘chat’ with Jamie, very much like how one would chat on instant messaging.
‘Ask Jamie’ leverages on its Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine to understand the questions typed by the public and respond with an appropriate answer. When an answer entails multiple permutations, ‘Ask Jamie’ can be trained to ask follow-on questions to narrow down the answer to one that is specifically relevant to the context of the end-user.
Other key features of ‘Ask Jamie’ include cross-agency queries which eliminates the need for the public to know which agency websites to go to for specific queries, escalation to ‘live’ chat to allow the public to continue a conversation seamlessly while getting help from a real person and answering questions by leveraging on an agency backend database, the Gov iFAQ system and the Wolfram Alpha general knowledge database.
The WOG ‘Ask Jamie’ Virtual Assistant will bring about the following benefits:
- Greater convenience and accessibility to the government, any time, all the time;
- Quick, consistent and direct answers to queries;
- Availability of self-help and reduced need to call the call centres;
- Ability to get help without the need to know which agencies to go to; and
- Better user experience through using conversations to get help.
Beyond the current ‘Ask Jamie’ webchat, there are exciting plans to extend it to a conversational chatbot with transactional capabilities, to further enhance the interactions between citizens and the government.
With the ‘Ask Jamie’ chatbot, the public will be able to use popular messaging platforms such as the Facebook Messenger, Skype and Telegram to ask questions and to carry out transactions, bringing innovation and ease of use to the next level.