The revenues of the global chatbot market will exceed 450 million dollars by 2027, which will represent a tenfold growth in a period of 10 years, and their importance is also indicated by the fact that since the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic, they have been the fastest growing channel of communication between companies and consumers. They are increasingly represented in the public sector, but in Serbia there are only a dozen chatbots created by state authorities. Locally, this technology is still in its infancy, with only two cities offering this service.
Chatbots, virtual assistants or "conversation agents", as being called globally, are most often used in the public sector to facilitate the search of institutions' websites and access to information, extend the availability of the counter to 24 hours seven days a week, serve to collect data on user satisfaction, provide important information about public transport, taxes, health, obtaining permits, submitting requests and complaints or scheduling an appointment.
- In Serbia, chatbots have so far only been information providers, but that is slowly changing. The most complete service is offered by the virtual MIA assistant in Šabac and Sombor. This chatbot was developed with the support of the German Development Cooperation implemented by GIZ and company SAGA, in partnership with NALED, and in addition to the possibility to receive information about the right to child allowance, the amount of tax debt, tax certificate, working hours of the city administration counter or other administrative services, since three months ago citizens of these two cities can report a utility problem via chatbot or order certificates from registers and citizenship and receive them at their home address - says Ana Ilić, Good Governance Director in NALED.
One of the highly functional chatbots is IVA, the virtual assistant of the Government’s Coordination Commission for Inspection Supervision. IVA was developed in cooperation with the Ministry of State Administration and Local Government, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and NALED, and it allows citizens to more easily report a problem to any of the republic's inspections.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, the Government of Serbia developed the chatbot COVID Info Serbia in order to more effectively inform citizens about the virus and the contacts of relevant services, and very soon its functionality was extended to scheduling vaccinations.
Our country has also established its first chatbots for administrative services at the national level. The Office for IT and eGovernment has launched a chatbot on the eGovernment Portal, providing citizens the answers to questions about electronic identity and services such as electronic enrollment of children in kindergarten, scheduling an appointment to obtain personal documents, electronic registration of a child's birth and many others.
Also, the Republic Geodetic Institute has online chat support regarding the procedures for registering rights in the cadastre, and the Ministry of Education also has its own chatbot. Mina provides information on student and student loans and scholarships, services under the Ministry's jurisdiction (eg My High School, eDnevnik and others), as well as international cooperation.
Also, the Republic Geodetic Authority has online chat support regarding the procedures for registering rights in the cadastre, and the Ministry of Education also has its own chatbot. Mina provides information on student loans and scholarships, services under the Ministry's jurisdiction (e.g. My High School, eGrades and others), as well as international cooperation.
Also, in order to promote the development of innovations, the Government of Serbia has launched a chatbot, Milica, which can be accessed via Viber by typing "Serbia creates opportunities" in the search. As one of the largest state-owned companies, Telekom Serbia also developed its own chatbot service. It is possible to get account information from Mila, report a problem, get information about existing services or add new ones.
- Global research shows that chatbots can carry out the entire conversation with the user in 69% of cases. Also, the costs of providing the service to the user are reduced by 30%. They serve to provide quick responses and two-thirds of users are satisfied with that speed. Their importance will continue to grow and that is why it would be necessary to adopt a national strategy or other planning document on the more massive introduction of chatbot technology in public administration, especially local government, in order to further improve public administration services, and direct the officials who currently perform these tasks to other important and responsible jobs - concludes Ilić.
27.08.2022In eight months, MIA has responded to a total of 12,280 inquiries, and on...Read more