VICA – Virtual Intelligent Chat Assistant
As part of broader efforts to help citizens and businesses navigate digital government services and improve service delivery, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) and Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) have been exploring the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and the use of virtual assistants (VA).
What is VICA?
Launched in December 2020, VICA (Virtual Intelligent Chat Assistant) is GovTech’s next-generation Chatbot/Virtual Assistant/Conversation AI SaaS cloud platform to power chatbots that provides improved user experience for conversational interactions (Text, Voice and Call Center) with the Singapore government ministries and agencies.
VICA supports modern Natural Language Processing (NLP) engines and leverages on Machine Learning (ML) and AI technologies to perform advanced analytics on chatbot content, which enables our chatbots to understand, learn and interact with users better.
One of VICA’s goals is to make our chatbots engine-agnostic, which means that the chatbots can leverage the latest NLP technology to achieve better performance and accuracy.
The chatbots on the Energy Market Authority website (Ask Emma), MCI gov.sg web and Covid-19 Whatsapp channel are all powered by VICA today. In the next phase, VICA chatbots will eventually replace all 90+ existing “Ask Jamie” government agency chatbots.
VICA - Virtual Intelligent Chat Assistant will bring about the following benefits:
- Greater convenience and accessibility to the government, 24/7;
- Quick and direct answers to queries;
- Ability to get help without the need to know which agencies to go to; and
- Better user experience through conversational digital interactions
- Provides central platform that supports common features, hence more sustainable.
- Platform is future proof and able to swap tech components when needed
- Lower effort and cost to manage, maintain and update
What are some of the new developments?
We are constantly looking into areas where technology can complement our lives and VICA will be progressively enhanced with new features.
Some of the new developments are listed below:
- Unified chat front end for common branding across all government ministries and agencies
- Singpass Integration
- Live Chat Escalation
- Support for multiple chat channels like Whatsapp and Telegram
What are the future plans?
We have many exciting ideas for new features, and one of them is to develop a GovTech super chatbot that can answer any questions a user may have about any government services. The ideal is to provide a seamless experience by categorizing and redirecting a user’s question on the backend, and for a relevant agency’s chatbot to respond within the same interface with the appropriate answer. This will create the user experience of a single Whole-of-Government Virtual Assistant, or government e-Concierge persona.
For more information on GovTech Super Chatbot, please click on the link below.