Lisburn and Castlereagh Council hears concerns over use of artificial intelligence

Concerns have been raised over the use of artificial intelligence at Lisburn and Castlereagh Council.
The local authority's recent corporate committee was presented with the latest report stating covering recent technology upgrades to "improve efficiency" in customer care.
Waste services is the first department to be automated by the new online 'Chatbot' system which is an artificial intelligence (AI) that mimics human conversation through text.

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Killultagh Sinn Fein rep, Gary McCleave said: "What are the response times like for people using the Chatbot system for a real matter of concern and not just a council query? What if someone wanted to report something such as fly-tipping?
"When will they actually get a human to pick up their concerns and respond directly to them?"
A council officer responded: "Well the queries don't go up into the ether. They are picked up by customer care and a further response can be made if required.
"We are making sure we get value for money. There are also more plans for Chatbots to be used in planning services as well."

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