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Robots at Muscovites' service

A citywide contact centre is using a virtual operator to check whether citizens’ complaints about housing and utilities to the unified dispatch centre have been resolved.

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Moscow's virtual operator has called more than 100,000 citizens since the pilot began
Moscow's virtual operator has called more than 100,000 citizens since the pilot began

Moscow has announced a pilot project with Russian internet giant, Yandex.Cloud, to upgrade Muscovites’ experience with the city government’s contact centre.

 

Jointly developed technologies have, reportedly, helped to improve the citywide contact centre’s virtual operator, which calls up Muscovites to check whether their complaints to the unified dispatch centre (for the reporting of housing and utility problems) have been resolved.

 

Virtual operator

 

Around half of all outgoing calls by the virtual operator are using the Yandex.Cloud artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

 

“Muscovites are already familiar with our contact centre’s virtual operator. We are continuing to improve this technology and running a pilot project using Yandex’s latest developments,” said Andrey Savitsky, head of the citywide contact centre.

 

“The joint project is helping us to improve speech synthesis and recognition technologies. In addition, it’s providing practical guidance on how users react to the virtual operator’s male and female voices. Some studies have established that it is the male voice that users react best to.”

 

Since the pilot was launched, the robot has called more than 100,000 people. According to Moscow’s Department of Information Technology, statistical evidence shows that in this time the virtual operator has become more efficient with the number of citizens who complete a dialogue with it has increased by 12 per cent.

“Using speech synthesis and recognition saves staff time and means that they can be redeployed from routine and emotionally difficult operations to other work”

The Department of Information Technology reports that the virtual operator has been used on the citywide contact centre’s lines since 2014. In that time, it has received more than 10 million calls

 

“Using speech synthesis and recognition saves staff time and means that they can be redeployed from routine and emotionally difficult operations to other work,” added Oleg Koverznev, business development director at Yandex.Cloud.

 

“At the same time, the quality of the work with feedback thanks to this collaboration has improved.”

 

The Department of Information Technology notes the virtual operator is processing around 40 per cent of all incoming calls. One fifth of calls (20.3 per cent) to the robot are about water meter readings and 19 per cent are to find out if a document has been issued.

 

A further 15.5 per cent are queries about the addresses and contact details of housing management companies, and a similar number (14.5 per cent) are about the addresses and contact details of Moscow’s multi-functional centres.

 

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