NZ Police recruits Soul Machines’ digital human

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New Zealand Police has become the latest customer for ‘intelligent’ digital human technology developed by Auckland-based Soul Machines.

NZ Police’s incarnation of Soul Machines’ technology, Ella (Electronic Life-Like Assistant), will be stationed in the lobby of Police’s National Headquarters for a three-month trial to assist the concierge team and to talk to visitors about Police services.

NZ Police’s Ella Soul Machines

NZ Police’s Ella

Ella is being trialled alongside another new initiative, Police Connect – electronic service points that provide non-emergency services to the public 24 hours a day.

NZ Police says the two trials are part of a programme of work to modernise its service delivery and showcase how it is embracing and exploring digital technologies to develop future-proofed and people-focused non-emergency services accessible to everyone in New Zealand. 

 Police Commissioner Michael Bush said the two initiatives followed the introduction of the 105 non-emergency number, online reporting and a NZ Police app

“[These are] making it easier for the public to access and receive the services and information they want, when they want, and in the ways that suit them,” he said. “But we’re very much just starting this journey, as Police Connect, Ella and other modern digital technologies present many more exciting opportunities for us to provide new and improved policing services.”

Soul Machines was spun off from the University of Auckland in late 2016 with backing of $US7.5 million in its initial financing round from Hong Kong-based venture capital firm Horizons Ventures.

It now claims to have has more than 130 employees and offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Tokyo, Melbourne and Auckland and to be “deploying the world’s first digital heroes” with some of the world’s biggest brands in banking and finance, software and technology, retail, ecommerce, fast moving consumer goods, automotive, healthcare, energy, and education.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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