How the citizens of Los Angeles are served by Chip the chatbot

Jul 14, 2017   |   Suzanne Choney

Illustration of city of LA's Chip the chatbot

Los Angeles’ local government decided to bring in some additional expert help to make things more efficient for both citizens and city staff. The City Hall Internet Personality — better known as “Chip” — operates as a tireless digital personal assistant, available to users 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“LA is a world-class city. And a world-class city should have a vison to become one that is fully digital and connected,” says Ted Ross, chief information officer of the City of LA and general manager of LA’s IT Agency, with officials from both agencies working to enhance the experiences of residents and employees.

A small team of developers from the IT Agency created Chip on Microsoft Azure using the Azure Bot Framework over the course of only a few days. Chip’s impressive beta release saw the chatbot increase the number of digital responses from 200 to 900 in the span of two months. With Azure as its foundation, agency programmers can regularly monitor and adjust Chip as needs and expectations change. Chip’s programmers can review content daily and update or add answers easily, augmenting LA’s interactive approach to city services.

Chip helps residents navigate the city’s website and understand city government processes by offering resources and guidance to keep residents informed. The chatbot can gather and present a collection of information about any given topic or area, clearly outline city resources and opportunities that are available to residents, and assist with filling out forms. The technology can even set up email alerts and other notifications to keep residents better connected and informed about LA’s city government.

To learn more, visit the Microsoft in Government blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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