Reimagining the way council interacts with citizens through conversational interfaces. (http://askyourcouncil.space)
Local governments provide lot of services to its community. With that comes a deluge of information in the form of links, pages and apps. Even for a tech savvy user, the amount of information on government portals can be overwhelming. Given that, how can citizens find information if they have difficulty seeing a computer screen, strain to hear sound, or struggle to use a keyboard? Also, how can we provide relevant information with a personal touch? Introducing a personal council assistant , Ask Your Council. Ask Your Council is aimed at improving information accessibility and citizen engagement using conversational interfaces like Google Home, Telegram etc.
We will be looking at Casey council's child care centres, bin information, libraries, public parks and other sources of big data, crucial to serve personalised information to the the community members, and create engaging methods to help make sense and interact with these data using chat-bots, such as Google Home, Facebook bot, Telegram bot. There is also a proof of concept with the Google assistant where a user can also report information to council and take part in surveys
The apps use pull data from Casey Maternal and Child care centers and other open data from data.gov.au. The rest of the data such as bin collection and form data for reporting bin collection issue are from Casey's website
Ask Your Council Google Assistant (yet to be published on Google)
1. Invoke the app by saying "Talk to Casey Council" on your smart phone or Google home
2. The app will list the type of the services it can perform
3. Say "News" or "Events" or "What's new" to get the latest information about news or events
4. Report a bin collection issue
5. Ask your bin date
Ask Your Council Telegram Bot
We developed a Telegram Bot called AskYourCouncil_Casey_bot nicknamed "Cassandra", which is a virtual council assistant that resides on a bot server hosted on a Raspberry Pi 3.
To use this, you need to have a Telegram app and active account on your mobile phone. Then you can look for the bot, it is called: t.me/AskYourCouncil_Casey_bot
Features of "Cassandra"
1. /help Display available commands.
2. /childcare Based on your current location it will select 3 nearest location of child care, and display the place name, address, phone number and distance from your location.
3. /violence This will show a hotline phone number which you use to dial.
4. /news This will display latest headlines about your local city council.
5. /trivia For the entertainment, there is also jokes and quizes about the municipality.
6. emergency or sos This can be used to report emergency situation at your surrounding, such as emergency theft, emergency fire, or emergency accident, and it will contact the respective authorities based on nature and type of incident. It will also display a selection menu to help contact police, ambulance, and fire brigades, and a link to emergency response website.
7. Greetings The bot will respond to your greetings and salute you by your first name.
We will be very grateful if we can win a prize and receive funding for our idea. This will enable us to explore and further develop various tech services to enhance community experience when engaging with local city councils.
We can also deploy this solution to other city councils, very easily and in cost effective manner.