DHS to release PIPA AI assistant this year


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 27 March, 2019


DHS to release PIPA AI assistant this year

Visitors to the Public Sector Innovation Show in Canberra on Tuesday received an update on the development of the Department of Human Services’ groundbreaking AI digital assistant PIPA.

Work on PIPA (Platform Independent Personal Assistant) is well underway, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan told attendees during his opening remarks at the event. The DHS expects to release the platform by the end of the year.

The platform, which is being developed by the department’s Augmented Intelligence Centre of Excellence, will be designed to act as a personal assistant for users of DHS services, Keenan said.

“One of the first roles being considered for PIPA is on the Centrelink Express Plus mobile app, which is already used by millions of Australians,” he said.

“PIPA will be able to ask customers what they’d like to do and then help them to complete tasks, such as lodging an online claim form or updating their income and other data.”

The digital assistant is also being designed to offer personalised support such as translating documents into a user’s native language or offering simple explanations of correspondence sent to a user’s online mailbox.

“All of these functions will dramatically improve the customer experience for those using our growing number of digital channels, especially those who are new to the online world and need a helping hand to find their way around.”

Keenan said the department’s existing digital assistants have already helped to answer 2.3 million questions, reducing the need for users of DHS services to resort to helpdesks or visits to service centres.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Sergey

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