City living can be fast paced, with demands for real time information around every corner. Bus times, doctor appointments, accessing social services, traffic news. Accurate and instant public service information is crucial to the life of a modern urbanite.  

Da Nang Public Service Information Center (PSC) and Artificial Intelligence technology leader HEKATE co-presented their A.I. powered chatbots initiative, which provides real time public service information for citizens, at the Responsible Business Forum (RBF), 11-12 October 2018, in Singapore.  

PSC was founded in 2011 under the Information and Communications Department of Da Nang city, responsible for collecting, synthesizing and processing information for citizens. Every day, PSC receives feedback, inquiries and complaints related to the daily lives of citizens on a broad range of issues, including the environment, pollution, transport, food safety, construction, infrastructure, upcoming events in the city, vehicle licensing, and healthcare.  PSC then processes these inquires in order to effectively respond to citizens.

HEKATE is one of the pioneering companies in A.I. powered chatbots in Viet Nam, and was established in 2016 with the mission to ‘bring the benefits of A.I. to everyone’. HEKATE had previously partnered with Da Nang city to experiment with the use of chatbots to integrate A.I. into tourism, public service information and taxation, thus strengthening citizen’s access to information through the use of A.I.

The partnership between PSC and HEKATE has further flourished with UNDP support. The new phase of learning for the chatbots has been extended to provide real time automatic information on food safety certificates for vendors, local land pricing, traffic violations and tracking the status of administration procedures. The new phase also aims to respond to even greater volumes of inquiries, following the success of the initial pilot phase.  

The Chatbot initiative has resulted in greater cost saving, efficiency, and accuracy of information for citizens. Ultimately, PSC, HEKATE and UNDP are committed to ensuring citizens have access to the information they need so they can make the most of the public services delivered by Da Nang city, and provide constructive and timely feedback to the Government on how to improve such services.

The Chatbot initiative demonstrates the power of the Platform approach in experimenting and innovating new technologies. UNDP has brought together academia, researchers, development partners, private sector and relevant government agencies to provide inputs into the design and implementation of the initiative. UNDP Viet Nam drives forward concrete application of the “whole of government” and “whole of society” approaches through Platforms that accelerate experimentation with new technology for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

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