Aylesbury Vale District Council is the first council to use Amazon Alexa to provide access to services.
The local authority has launched a ‘skill’ using Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, to make an available artificial intelligence system as a way of access local services. The service will allow members of the community to communicate with the council.
Aylesbury council has created ‘My Account’ as part of its strategy to create an online community for local residents and businesses, in partnership with Salesforce and AVDC. The online service will provide customer transactions, real-time data and an automated process system.
Initially, the council will be using Amazon Alexa that allows residents to ask for payment options regarding taxes, finding out recycling information, waste collections and questions on political and council leadership without the use of a computer, just ask Alexa. Other areas the council wants to use Alexa for include reporting missing bins and checking council tax.
The council hopes that Alexa will play a crucial role in its Limecart operation that provides household services using the voice activated services. If followed through, the operation could develop into a specialised service that supports older people that live at home.
Andrew Grant, Aylesbury Vale’s chief executive, said: “Amazon Alexa offer is so powerful because it can get your information on basic services and questions, and in future will be able to iterate across different public sector platforms, such as in getting a prescription or arranging car parking.”
Using Alexa for council services will hopefully allow the council to operate more seamlessly, to deliver services and benefit the local residents by providing better quality services.
Amazon Alexa is a popular choice used in households, offices and other areas such as online shopping with Ocado. By calling ‘Alexa’ then giving an instruction, the voice assistant will carry out the task responding to what the user has said.
Other local government services using Amazon Alexa has include the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which uses the voice assistant to deal with public enquiries regarding their MOT status and tax check.