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Kratt#AI, the virtual public assistant, just took a step closer to becoming a reality

What if you’re away from Estonia, in a different time zone, and it’s already 5 PM at home, but you need a copy of your school diploma? Do you know what official to approach if you need a fishing license quickly? Or what authority is responsible for a roadside traffic sign covered in snow? There are all kinds of unforeseen situations in life that can only be resolved through communication with the state, but how to identify and find the right official quickly? What if in the nearest future, communication with the state would mean talking to a single official or even a robot, regardless of the agency or subject?

Net Group recently won the first public chat robot procurement; in co-operation with our partners, we are about to roll out a scenario just like the one described above for the citizens.

KRATT#AI

The public chat robot is among the so-called Kratt#AI pilot projects focusing on how public services could function in e-Estonia with the help of artificial intelligence. Estonia has established an ambitious goal – to introduce 50 public services utilising AI in some form by the end of 2020.

The chat robot created by Net Group establishes the basis for a personal virtual assistant for every resident of Estonia; the assistant can be contacted at any hour and in any matter – this is an entirely new level in communication between the citizen and the state. This is a huge step for Estonian e-state towards the future. By the way, we created a conception for such solution at Net Group already in 2019 – check out this video for our vision on how a proper AI assistant should service a citizen:

Link to video

Government 2.0

The mission of the chat robot will be serving citizens at eesti.ee and websites of other state authorities, regardless of whether assistance is sought by an individual or a company. Kratt#AI can promptly find the exact information required. In the future, conversations with Kratt#AI might be like this, for example, You ask for help regarding the foundation of a company, Kratt#AI helps and proactively reminds you of that your ID card expires in two months. After all, the data required already exists in public databases – why not utilize them actively, thereby saving the citizens’ time and effort?

From the individual’s viewpoint, it tremendously simplifies all processes requiring communication with the state. For example, there is no need for searching for the right authority, the contacts of the competent official, explaining your unique inquiry to the official, etc. You only need to submit the inquiry and identify yourself using your ID card, Mobile ID, or Smart-ID. In this connection, the language or the level of detail of the inquiries is irrelevant – our intention is to make Kratt#AI an assistant smart enough to be capable of independent learning and development. The outcome is a truly fluent citizen experience, one that no other country in the world can offer.

From the viewpoint of the state, this will lighten the service load of the officials – this way, valuable human resources will have more time for dealing with issues more serious than replying to inquiries. By the creation of a single technical solution that different agencies can introduce, the state will avoid spending money on several similar but expensive solutions.

Experienced development partners of the government

Our task is to develop the Kratt#AI conception further through technical-architectural analysis and to produce a working prototype by the end of the year. Texta helps us with text analysis for the chat robot; the components made by Texta were the first blocks of AI that ended up in the public code repository.

At Net Group, we have extensive experience in the creation of special software solutions on the global level, in co-operation with partners from both the public and private sectors. The creation of a prototype for such an ambitious idea as the virtual public assistant Kratt#AI is undoubtedly challenging. In this regard, our long-term experience as a partner for public sector software development is a clear benefit for us, since we know how to create services considering the wishes of businesses, the state, and end-users.