Human Services rolls out new digital assistant

The Department of Human Services has expanded the ranks of its digital assistants.

Human Services announced today that it had rolled out ‘Charles’, which is intended to provide a new support channel for myGov account holders.

The department has two other public-facing digital assistants: ‘Sam’, rolled out in mid-2017, and ‘Oliver’.

The two assistants have answered more than 2 million enquiries since March 2017, the government said.

The department has also employed a number of internal digital assistants to aid its staff conduct tasks such as claims processing.

Analyst firm Gartner has predicted that by 2020 a quarter of customer service and support operations will employ what it dubs ‘virtual customer assistants’ (VCAs) or chatbot technology, up from less than 2 per cent in 2017.

“Digital assistants provide enormous convenience to myGov account holders who are now able to access the information they need without having to pick up a phone or come into an office,” human services and digital transformation minister Michael Keenan said.

“The assistants are also helping to ease the strain on our phone lines, giving our staff more time to assist customers who need greater support with complex queries.

“We are committed to ensuring all Australians have access to the best possible government services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

The rollout of digital assistants forms part of the government’s massive multi-year Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT), which kicked off in July 2015.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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